Americans are waking up to the plight of rural and small town areas. Rural students and workers need government and philanthropic help to link to jobs, higher education, and career opportunities, whether near their homes or in cities.
But rural residents need to avoid making matters worse for themselves. One troubling development, adopted totally by local initiative, is for rural schools to operate only four days per week (usually Monday through Thursday). This phenomenon is sweeping the Intermountain West, spreading to 88 districts in Colorado, 43 in Idaho, 30 in Oregon, and nearly half of the districts in Montana. Other parts of the country will likely follow suit.