Despite greater parental and community involvement, students in rural schools have college-going rates that are 10 to 15 percentage points lower than those of urban school students.
Through his recently-launched White House Rural Council, President Barack Obama aims to conquer this issue and other problems faced by rural communities today. The Rural Council released a report this month, Jobs and Economic Security for Rural America, that briefly addresses education and focuses more on job creation and economic growth.
The report shows ways that the Obama administration is working to close gaps between rural schools and other public schools, mostly by increasing access to Pell Grants and making student loans more affordable.
The Rural Council describes educational training, job certification and credential attainment as critical to supporting military families and the 6.1 million veterans who live in rural communities. Additionally, the Rural Council includes “training a globally competitive workforce” as a key area for strengthening rural America. The report references several of the administration’s initiatives that are already in place to meet this goal including: the Education Jobs Fund program, the Rural Education Achievement program and the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants.
Career Technical Education (CTE) helps close the college-going gap between rural and urban schools by providing education and skills training to prepare veterans, displaced workers, career changers, and other individuals for further education and careers in high-demand fields.