Rural kids get fewer AP classes

Where a student lives shouldn’t determine the type of education he or she receives–and this is especially true for rural students

rural-onlineStudents in Dublin schools can pick among dozens of rigorous courses such as Advanced Placement studio art, computer science and calculus, along with engineering design, statistics, theater and a variety of International Baccalaureate classes.

They can learn foreign languages including Japanese, German, Latin and Chinese.

In all, Dublin offers 92 advanced courses to students. That’s 10 times as many as are available to Hamilton Local students on the other end of Franklin County. According to state data, they have nine available.

“We can’t afford to have a class with five students in it,” said Susan Witten, Hamilton’s assistant superintendent for teaching and learning. “If we have a student interested in Advanced Placement French, for instance, we can arrange for independent study.”

Where a student lives in Ohio is not supposed to determine the type of education he or she receives. That was the key underpinning for the DeRolph school-funding lawsuit that successfully argued that state leaders were not providing a thorough and efficient education as required by the state Constitution. The presumption also has been at the heart of ongoing debates over how the state distributes billions of dollars to more than 600 school districts.

(Next page: Efforts to connect rural students to learning opportunities)

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