The purpose of this study was to compare Alabama’s rural school districts with its city, suburban, and town districts. Descriptive statistics were used for this population study, with effect sizes calculated using Cohen’s d. Findings indicated Alabama’s rural school districts serve slightly less affluent student populations, with a lower percentage of minority students, than their counterparts. They are funded at slightly lower levels than their counterparts in other categories, yet spend approximately the same percentage of their budgets on administration and on instruction. They spend a considerably higher percentage on transportation. Although rural district dropout rates are similar to those of their counterparts, from the third to the eleventh grade, student performance on standardized examinations falls gradually behind that of the students in other locale categories.

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