Purpose of the Rural Education Initiative
The Rural Education Initiative is designed to assist rural school districts in using Federal resources more effectively to improve the quality of instruction and student academic achievement. It consists of two separate programs – the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program and the Rural and Low-Income Schools (RLIS) program.
The SRSA program is a rural school initiative with two components –
- Rural Flexibility – the Alternative Use of Funds Authority
- Rural Flexibility provides eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) with greater flexibility in using the formula grant funds that they receive under certain State-administered Federal programs. This portion of the SRSA program is not a grant program and does not provide LEAs with funding.
- The SRSA grant program
- LEAs eligible to participate in REAP-Flex are also eligible for a grant under the SRSA grant program. The US Department of Education awards SRSA funds directly to eligible LEAs on a formula basis.
The RLIS program is an initiative that provides grant funds to rural LEAs that serve concentrations of children from low-income families. Under the RLIS program, the U.S. Department of Education awards funds by formula to State Education Agencies (SEAs) to provide subgrants to eligible LEAs to support a range of authorized activities to support student achievement.
Under ESSA, LEAs may be found eligible for both programs and must select either SRSA or RLIS.