In rural Canada the issue of school closures and consolidations due to low enrollment and heightened fiscal constraints has become a contentious and highly-charged issue for citizens and communities. This literature review synthesizes the major effects of school closure on rural communities, identifying economic impacts, social impacts, and implications for students. The historical context of Canadian rural schools, notions of rurality, urbanormativity and local complexity, along with considerations of urban-centred educational policy, are overarching themes identified in the rural school literature. These concepts were found to subsequently perpetuate the economic, social, and student-centred impacts reported. A relative dearth of research focusing on the community-level impacts of rural school closure, particularly in the Canadian context, supports the need for further in-depth studies that address gaps in the literature. These findings could in turn be used in the development of future educational policy which acknowledges rurality for rural Canadian communities.
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The impacts of school closure on rural communities in Canada: A review.
The Rural Educator, 43(2), 60-74.