NREA Weekly Updates: May 7th, 2021

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2021 National Forum to Advance Rural Education: 113 Years of Highlighting Rural Education
2021 NREA State Affiliates: 43 States & Counting...
NREA "The Rural Voice" Podcast Series
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CEF Weekly Legislative Update
CEF Weekly Legislative Update
Secretary Cardona hearing and congressional overview – The Senate is not in session this week and the House is having a “Committee Work Week” with no floor votes. Yesterday Education Secretary Miguel Cardona testified on the President’s fiscal year 2021 request before the House Appropriations Committee. Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) supported the unprecedented request for a 40.1% increase in discretionary funds, saying that “they are sure to go a long way to reverse years of underinvestment in our federal education system.” Subcommittee ranking member Tom Cole (R-OK) opposed the historic increase in funding as “simply unnecessary, irresponsible and unacceptable,” arguing that the $29.8 billion increase would skyrocket the national debt. There were questions on reopening schools, the content of civics education, and transgender students. Until the Administration releases its complete budget – now expected in late May – we won’t know exactly how much it requests for every education program. The broad outline released last month included information on the total Education budget and key programs the Administration chose to highlight.

Upcoming congressional hearings –

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Reauthorization: Creating Opportunities for Youth Employment – House Education and Labor’s Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee on Thursday, May 13, at 10:15am ET.
The Black Farmers' Network (BFN) will host its first virtual "Master Class" with Principal Attorney Veronica McClendon. Known as, The Family Land Lawyer, Mrs. McClendon specializes in heirs property, estate planning, will creation, title clearing, and risk management planning. Attorney McClendon educates on the importance of transferring land wealth to the next generation through sound planning practices. While her work covers all communities, she specializes in land issues prevalent in the Black Belt region. In partnership with BFN, Mrs. McClendon will hold a three-part course series to assist participants in navigating topics associated with land acquisition, retention, and risk management.
The first Master Class in this course series begins Monday, May 17, 2021, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm. Please click here to register for this event. If you have any questions about registration for this course series, please contact Kimberly Moore at
For more general questions, please contact Veronica Womack at The Black Farmers’ Network (BFN) is a collaborative program with the Rural Studies Institute (RSI) at Georgia College and is funded by a United States Department of Agriculture grant. For more information on the BFN please visit us at or to learn more about the RSI, please go to
Missouri: Teacher Shortages Highlighted
Missouri: Teacher Shortages Highlighted
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It’s teacher appreciation week, and to celebrate, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is airing a public service announcement campaign.
The campaign is called, “The Future Depends on Teachers” which highlights the need for educators around Missouri.
DESE says rural and urban areas are struggling. One school district in need right now is West Plains.
“Currently we have a high school math position open,” said Lori Wilson the Superintendent at West Plains R-7 School District. “It has been open since January and we have had one applicant.”
Wilson says the district has had 43 teaching positions open,11 in the special education department, and 22 in kindergarten through eighth grade.
DESE’s teacher shortage report in December of 2020 showed most teaching areas seeing a drop in employment.
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Rural Educator Weekly Spotlight:
Submission Preparation Checklist
Submission Preparation Checklist
The Rural Educator publishes three types of articles. Research Articles present original, empirical research that can be quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Promising Practices describe practices that show promise to support teaching and learning in rural education settings. Reviews of Research summarize the research literature in specific topics within the ten research priorities of the National Rural Education Association Research Agenda.
Specific criteria for each type of manuscript can be found here.
To submit a manuscript you must create an account (if needed) and log in to the journal website.
General Manuscript Criteria:
  1. Submit in MS Word (.doc or .docx)
  2. 12 point font (Times New Roman preferred)
  3. Use American Psychological Association (APA) 6th Edition for style, citation, and reference guidelines
  4. Tables and figures should be embedded in the text.
  5. Footnotes are discouraged.
  6. Include an abstract, not to exceed 150 words
  7. Any color images will appear in color online and will appear in black and white in the print version of the journal. Images should be formatted to be legible in black and white/grayscale.
  8. Do not include the author(s)' name(s) on the manuscript
  9. References should include DOIs or web links where available.
  10. The submitting author will be notified of the final decision regarding publication.
  11. The submitting author will be notified of editorial changes made to the manuscript; however, the Editors reserve the right to make such changes without the author’s approval or notification if time does not permit.
Research Articles
Research Articles contribute to our understanding of educational issues in rural contexts. Submissions must explicitly address rural education by defining rural and/or by extensively describing the unique rural setting. Research that happens to be set in a rural setting but does not explicitly address rural education in a review of literature, research question, findings, and/or discussion/implications will not be published. Manuscripts for Research Articles are typically approximately 25 pages in length including references. Empirical research articles will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
1) Current and sufficient review of literature grounds the study in rural education contexts
2) Research methodology is appropriate and sufficiently described
3) Data analysis and findings/results are appropriate and adequately described
4) Appropriate and thorough discussion of conclusions, implications and lmitations, including implications for rural education
5) Significance of the research for rural education contexts: Does the manuscript support rural schools and communities in their education work? How will this manuscript matter to rural education practitioners, advocates, and researchers? Does this manuscript expand, strengthen, or complicate our understanding of rural education? Does the manuscript avoid stereotypes and add to an understanding of rural places as rich and complex?
6) Clarity of writing (syntax, style, mechancis, organization)
7) Overall level of scholarship
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Rural Broadband
The digital divide has left millions of school kids behind
The digital divide has left millions of school kids behind
The coronavirus shined a light on the homework gap, or the disparity between the haves and have-nots when it comes to those students with laptops, tablets, and high-speed internet and those without even basic online access. But the waning of the pandemic's threat is a stark reminder that this aspect of the larger digital divide was a problem long before, and will remain one even as things return to normal.
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The FCC Provides a Peek Into Proposed Rules for $7 Billion Remote Learning Fund
The FCC Provides a Peek Into Proposed Rules for $7 Billion Remote Learning Fund
The Federal Communications Commission is just days away from finalizing how it will implement a new $7 billion fund to help school districts pay for at-home devices and internet connectivity for students and staff during the pandemic.
And in advance of that happening, the FCC has taken the rare step of publicly releasing a draft of the new rules for the fund.
That move has set off a scramble by school districts, consultants, trade associations, nonprofits, and major corporations to respond to the draft order to influence the final outcome.
The massive COVID-19 stimulus package approved in March allocated $7 billion to the FCC for the creation of an “Emergency Connectivity Fund” to pay for all costs associated with high-speed internet and devices for remote learning.
Money from the connectivity fund is not part of the E-Rate program, though many aspects will follow already established E-Rate guidelines, and Congress gave the commission 60 days to get final rules in place for how it will distribute the money. That means the FCC has a May 10 deadline to wrap up the rulemaking process.
Last week, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced she is providing the public with an unusual peek behind the commission’s curtain as it gets closer to finalizing rules.
Draft orders are typically circulated internally among commissioners. But in a statement highlighting the time crunch to approve rules and the overall “extraordinary circumstances” K-12 schools are in because they’ve been forced to shift to remote learning during COVID, Rosenworcel said she was releasing the 80-page draft order because of “the commission’s desire to receive targeted and timely input from a broad cross-section of the affected public.”
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