Texas has more than 2,000 campuses that are classified as being in rural areas according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This is more than 20 percent of all campuses in Texas. While some rural schools are experiencing some success, many, if not all, face challenges that are unique due to size and region. The Commissioner of Education is interested in learning about the common issues faced by rural schools, the current strategies and innovations implemented in Texas rural schools, and how the Texas Education Agency (TEA) can better support rural schools.
The Commissioner of Education created the Rural Schools Task Force and charged it with identifying the current and future priorities of Texas rural schools. TXCC worked with the Educator Support Division of TEA as a thought partner, co-project manager, meeting designer and facilitator, research and resource developer, and product manager to help the task force identify challenges, best practices, and innovations that are important to Texas rural schools. The output of the task force was a series of recommendations for how TEA, districts and schools, education service centers (ESCs), and other partners can best support rural schools in addressing the barriers and challenges they face.