Nearly a half-million students in California attend school in rural areas that face a unique set of chronic challenges including high levels of poverty, fewer job opportunities, less access to healthcare, more significant teacher shortages, and underfunded schools, contributing to underinvestment in physical and educational infrastructure. The impact of these historic trends has been compounded by COVID-19 and rampant annual wildfires. These challenges demand urgent action, and recent federal and state dollars can support rural districts in harnessing their unique assets and mitigating their distinct challenges.

UCLA CTS researchers present a new policy brief, Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind: How State & Federal Resources Can Address the Challenges of COVID-19 & Wildfire Displacement in CA Rural Schools. The brief explores current state and federal resources available to support evidence-based solutions to the most pressing challenges facing rural California schools. The brief presents research and funding opportunities that answer two questions:

1. What are the distinct challenges rural schools face amidst the ongoing pandemic?
2. What does the research say about supporting rural schools? What are some solutions?