|What makes a Colorado |
school district rural?
"Other efforts include day-long bus trips to rural districts for students in teacher preparation programs, stipends for student teachers in rural districts and for rural teachers who want additional training and 'teacher cadet' programs to get rural high school students interested in teaching careers," Schimke writes.
Colorado also last year hired the state’s first rural education outreach coordinator, Schimke writes. "She serves as a connector of sorts between Colorado’s 147 rural districts and teacher preparation programs across the state." The position and the rural teacher immersion trips are paid for with federal grant money.
Robert Mitchell, academic policy officer for teacher preparation at the Colorado Department of Higher Education, said one problem is that the state "has seen a 30 percent decline in the number of college students attending teacher preparation programs in Colorado over the last six years," Schimke writes. Another problem is that rural teaching jobs tend to pay less than urban ones. Mitchell told her, “Any given year when people are looking for elementary teachers, there’s a good chance our rural districts will get zero applications for those jobs."