Senators facing tough re-election want better funding of rural schools

May 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- Democratic senators from Alaska and Arkansas are leading the push to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law to provide better funding for rural area schools.

Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas said they want the law to be more responsive to the needs of rural constituents, The Hill reported Wednesday.

Both senators face tough re-election battles in 2014.

"We want to make sure we don't miss the unique challenges that rural America has: Getting qualified teachers, getting living space for them and getting them classroom capacity," said Begich.

Rural advocates argue that low income funding in No Child Left Behind flows disproportionately to urban and affluent suburban areas.

"Money flows from poorer rural districts and poorer urban districts to more affluent suburban districts," said John Hill, executive director of the National Rural Education Association.

In order to change funding formulas, Democrats from rural states will have to overcome opposition from lawmakers representing major cities and affluent suburbs.

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