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Ozark Non-Profit in OCRE Spotlight

A new non-profit that focuses on small, rural school districts in the Missouri Ozarks region will be on show when national advocates for rural education meet July 15 in Washington, D.C.

Gary Funk, director of the Rural Schools Partnership, will talk about the work it's doing to strengthen schools at the summer meeting of Organizations Concerned About Rural Education, a coalition of more than two dozen education, farm, rural, technology and utility organizations.

The Rural Schools Partnership launched in 2010 after a year-long study by the Community Foundation for the Ozarks (of which Funk served as president and CEO until May). It is an ambitious initiative because it focuses on long-term results, approaching education and economic development as hand-in-hand work for rural communities. Its emphasis is on getting schools to collaborate, developing alternate resources for schools and on nurturing place-based education strategies that take advantage of unique opportunities tied to local economies—think arts, medical care, etc.—and ones that target local needs.

Also on the OCRE agenda, Robert Canavan, president of Rebuilding America's Schools, will report on developments in Congress affecting the renovation and building of the nation's schools.

OCRE will convene at 10 a.m. July 15, at the new offices of the National Farmers Union, 20 F Street NW, third floor, just around the street corner from their former location in Washington.

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