“Although these struggles are being felt nationwide, rural schools receive far less attention. According to a report by the Rural School and Community Trust, more than 9.3 million — almost 20% — of students in the U.S. attend a rural school. Of these students, almost 1 in 6 lives below the poverty line.
In a 2021 article about rural schools, the New York Times argued that the problem isn’t just that rural communities are more likely to be impoverished, but rather, they’re also ‘often disconnected from the nonprofits and social-service agencies that plug holes in urban and suburban schools.’
One nonprofit working to make a difference is Partners for Rural Impact (PRI). For almost three decades, PRI was an initiative of Berea College called Partners for Education, which focused on building education in Appalachian Kentucky. Last year, PRI launched as a standalone 501(c)(3) nonprofit. It is now a national organization working to move educational outcomes not just in Appalachia, but in rural places across the nation.”