Koolio, I live in Oregon. Here, small schools get a little more money for each student, but there are other challenges as a small school.
*Most families need two incomes to survive, and there are fewer jobs in small towns, so its hard to get a teacher to move there when their spouse can't find work.
*The feds require "Highly Qualified" teachers for each subject from 6-12 grades, and its hard to fully employ an HQ Spanish teacher, for example, unless they are HQ in some other area, which many are not.
*Keeping instruction at a high level can be challenging in a small community where the political battle to reprimand staff and students has a significant backlash. Admin are not allowed to respond to specifics because it is protected and private information (rightly so), but the other side can share all they want (true or not).
*Smaller schools cost more per student because they cannot spread out the costs as much as larger schools can. Many small schools and districts in Oregon used to get money from the state from the timber industry, but that is all gone now. Other than providing online instruction with tutoring, or becoming a charter (which only provides 3 years of cash, and then its gone), there are few solutions out there. Some of our small districts have begun to board foreign students as a source of income.
*Pay for teachers is less than urban districts because small schools have to stretch their dollars. The lower cost of living out in country should help that, but as I said above, most families nowadays need two incomes.
I too LOVE small schools and districts! I like being able to work with kids as a small community, where you can have older students mentor younger students, and get all students involved in the care and image of their school. It just comes with challenges as I have listed above.
Last edited by Foxtail Ranch; 02-17-2014 at 06:57 PM.