Our Commitment to Rural Education

Rural America includes more than 50 million adults and 12 million children. From our national security, to the sustainability of natural resources, and the expansion of innovative manufacturing and agricultural practices, a thriving rural America is important to everyone.

We know education is critical to move rural America forward, and that is why we're committed to overcoming opportunity gaps by leading collaborative action to adopt innovative strategies for dual enrollment, blended learning, college/career pathways, instructional quality, and redesigning time, talent, and resources in rural schools across the nation.


Generating Opportunity and Prosperity: The Promise of Rural Education Collaboratives

Over the past year, Battelle for Kids (BFK) has studied the most promising rural education collaboratives across the country and we made three fundamental, but not really surprising discoveries. Rural schools and communities must navigate a transformation—producing greater educational opportunity and economic prosperity in a time of fiscal challenge. Download now.

National Forum to Advance Rural Education

This year, Battelle for Kids and the National Rural Education Association will partner together to host the 2017 National Forum to Advance Rural Education. By joining together, we are able to expand each organization’s annual event by bringing more education organizations and leaders together to advance conversations and greater impact around rural education. Learn more and join us for the event!


Lead With Hope

More than 40% of all American schools are in rural areas and close to a third of all students attend rural schools. One in four of these students lives in poverty. Rural child poverty is a factor that contributes to low levels of well-being, an effect that can follow individuals throughout their lives, particularly if they experienced poverty at an early age.

This SmartFocus on Rural Education features highlights and take-a-ways from the 2015 Rural Education National Forum. The annual event brings together rural education leaders from around the country to discuss ways to improve the quality of education and put these students on pathways to college and career success. See how hope operates as an agent of change; get ideas for creating programs to prepare students for college and the workforce; and learn how “invested communities” can provide fresh opportunities for students. Read more and download here



We get excited about the opportunity to roll up our sleeves to design, help connect the dots, and support the implementation of large-scale initiatives that improve teaching and learning. We’ve learned that adopting a collaborative approach within and across groups of districts (such as with Ohio TIF and the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative) is a powerful way to ensure lasting impact. This approach has also been instrumental in our efforts to support additional rural districts across Ohio who are working together to adopt innovative strategies and offer students new pathways to college and career readiness.

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Colorado Rural Education Collaborative

The Colorado Rural Education Collaborative was created by teachers, for teachers. In partnership with Battelle for Kids, 22 Colorado districts, higher education partners, boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES), and other education organizations came together to design a collaborative that meets the needs of their rural communities. Together, these partners are working to expand student opportunities, enhance educational value, and enrich economic prosperity for rural Colorado students and their families. Visit the site.