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The Land of Lincoln Celebrates the Value of Small Schools and Rural Communities!

Springfield, Illinois

November 18, 2015

Editor's Note: The Rural Schools Collaborative is proud to partner with the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools in support of its work to promote public education in rural communities.

The Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools (AIRSS) is proud to announce that Governor Bruce Rauner has proclaimed Friday, November 20, 2015 as Illinois Rural and Small Schools Day. The Governor has issued this proclamation to generate awareness of the vital roles rural and small schools play in the development of the State of Illinois.

Along with its Illinois partners, SIU-Carbondale, Western Illinois University and Baysinger Architects, AIRSS has worked in collaboration to help develop, promote and create not just this important day , but an ongoing recognition of our Illinois rural and small schools.

“A strong rural presence makes for a stronger Illinois”, said David Ardrey, Executive Director of AIRSS. “Our small and rural schools and communities play an important role not only in education, but in the economic health and vitality of our rural communities. The strength of our rural schools is the strength of our rural communities, and the stronger the rural community the stronger the rural school”, Ardrey said.

For copies of a downloadable proclamation and commemorative poster, click here.

The Proclamation is as follows:

WHEREAS, Illinois students in rural and small schools should have access to high quality education opportunities; and,

WHEREAS, there are at least 500 small rural school districts in the State of Illinois; and,

WHEREAS, more than 275,000 Illinois children attend small and rural schools in Illinois; and,

WHEREAS, rural public schools are an important fixture and often the focal point for the community; and,

WHEREAS, public school systems are usually one of the largest, if not the largest, employers in a rural community or region; and,

WHEREAS, public schools are a linchpin to successful rural economic and community development; and,

WHEREAS, the Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools (AIRRS) serves as the only statewide organization that helps promote and enhance education in rural and small schools in very community location of Illinois; and,

WHEREAS, AIRSS has served a significant role in fiving identity, voice and recognition to rural and small schools and their local community:

THEREFORE, I, Bruce Rauner, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim November 20, 2015, as Illinois Rural and Small Schools Day in Illinois, in order to generate awareness of the vital roles rural and small schools play in the development of the State of Illinois.

The Association of Illinois Rural and Small Schools was chartered in 1987 with the purpose of presenting a unified effort to promote educational excellence in Illinois’ rural and small schools. AIRSS is committed to giving identity, voice, and recognition to rural and small schools and their local communities.

David Ardrey is the executive director for AIRSS, and he can be contacted at execdir@airssedu.org or by telephone at (618) 924-8218. For more information on Illinois Rural and Small Schools Day click here.

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