Created by Commissioner Mike Morath in 2016, the Texas Rural Schools Task Force is charged with identifying current challenges and best practices for rural school districts statewide.
Rural school districts across Texas face many educational challenges unique to their size and region. The Rural Schools Task Force conducted regional forums that provided opportunities for task force members and area superintendents to share insights for innovation in the areas of teacher recruitment, teacher retention, resource allocation, use of technology, as well as parent and community engagement.
The Texas Rural Schools Task Force met four times in Austin in 2016 with additional meetings in 2017. Final recommendations were presented to Commissioner Morath and are available in the report below. The Rural Schools Spotlight Report was initiated to support the Task Force in gathering information related to best practices for rural schools and districts.
Members of the Rural Schools Task Force were selected to participate based on outstanding student achievement and a willingness to innovate. The superintendents and school districts on the task force include:
- Bloomburg ISD – Brian Stroman (ESC Region 8)
- Bronte ISD – Tim Siler (ESC Region 15)
- Center Point ISD – Cody Newcomb (ESC Region 20)
- Channing ISD – Robert McLain (ESC Region 16)
- Cisco ISD – Kelly West (ESC Region 14)
- Community ISD – Roosevelt Nivens (ESC Region 10)
- Ezzell ISD – Lisa Berckenhoff, (ESC Region 3)
- Era ISD – Jeremy Thompson, (ESC Region 11)
- Flatonia ISD – Beverly Mikulenka (ESC Region 13)
- Floydada ISD – Gilbert Trevino (ESC Region 17)
- Fort Hancock ISD – Jose Franco (ESC Region 19)
- Mineola ISD – Kim Tunnell (ESC Region 7)
- Moody ISD – Gary Martel (ESC Region 12)
- Ricardo ISD – M.T. “Vita” Canales (ESC Region 2)
- Roma ISD – Carlos Guzman (ESC Region 1)
- Sabine Pass ISD – Kristi Heid (ESC Region 5)
- Seymour ISD – John Baker (ESC Region 9)
- Snook ISD – Brenda Krchnak (ESC Region 6)
- Stafford Municipal School District – Robert Bostic (ESC Region 4)
- Terlingua Common School District – Bobbie Jones (ESC Region 18)
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, Texas has more than 2,000 campuses classified as being in rural areas. Nationally, Texas has more schools in rural areas than any other state with more than 20 percent of campuses located in rural areas.