rural areas of Ohio

A list of each rural school district and the classification assigned to it.

What makes a rural area?

In 1996, the Ohio Department of Education created a classification for different types of similar districts, referred to as the Ohio School Districts Classification. Rural areas in Classification Code 1 (blue in the map below) have high student poverty and low student population. Rural areas in classification code 2 (green in the map below) have moderate student poverty and very low student population.

Ohio rural map

This is a map of rural school districts in Ohio.  Areas of high poverty are shown in blue and areas of medium poverty are colored in green.

To create this classification, the department used several data sources to classify such counties together based on shared demographic and geographic characteristics. As a result, the ratings can serve as the basis for a stratified sample of regions in a state. These classifications also allow researchers to focus on a specific type of area, such as major metropolitan areas or rural areas with high poverty. Eight taxonomic categories have been created for the 2013 classification (one more than for the 2007 classification). Rural classification ratings are described in the table below.

2013 classification code

main assembly


areas within the classification

students within the class

1 villager High student poverty and low number of students 124 170,000
2 villager Average student poverty and very low student numbers 107 110,000

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Local Codes

Area codes are a measure of the geographic area of ​​a school district. Codes range from “big city” to “rural”. Based on the geographic criteria used in the 2000 census, there will be new codes for the 2017-2018 school year and beyond. Existing codes are used for the 2016-2017 school year and earlier.

Ohio’s alternative definition of country

Each state may choose an alternative definition of rural areas to determine which areas may qualify for RAP funding. When NCES makes an area code change, some areas that were previously eligible for REAP no longer qualify and lose that valuable funding. Ohio has a new alternate definition using the county classification. Those areas that are identified as rural under the District Classification may meet REAP funding criteria.

Giving opportunities

Rural Education Initiative

The Rural Education Initiative (Title V, Part B) is a group of federal programs designed to meet the unique needs of rural local education agencies (LEAs). These LEAs often lack the staff and resources to compete for federal competitive grants, and often receive formula allowances that are too small to be used effectively for their intended purposes.

  • Title V, Part B – Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) – Part V Part B (REAP) provides additional funding to support eligible rural areas that do not have the ability to compete for federal competitive grants and receive smaller allocations in federal merit funds. REAP funds are used to implement effective federal programs to improve students’ academic performance.
  • Achievement program in small rural schoolsThe purpose of the Small Rural School Achievement Program (SRSA) is to provide rural local educational agencies (LEAs) with financial assistance to fund initiatives aimed at improving student academic achievement. A LEA is entitled to receive funds if it meets basic eligibility and application requirements. Awards are issued annually, and award amounts are determined using a formula. Grant recipients may use SRSA funds to carry out activities authorized under any of the following federal programs: video.
  • Rural and Low Income School Program The purpose of the Rural and Low-Income Schools (RLIS) Program is to provide rural areas with financial assistance for initiatives aimed at improving student achievement. The scholarship is non-competitive, and eligibility is determined by law. Awards are issued annually to state education agencies (SEAs), which award sub-grants to local education agencies (LEAs) that meet applicable requirements. Awards are made to all formal education agencies that apply and meet applicable requirements.

Additional Federal Programs

  • Nita M. Lowey Community Learning Centers Program in the 21st Century (21st CCLC) The Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (21st CCLC) provides opportunities for children who come from economically disadvantaged families and attend low-performing schools to receive academic support. School districts, schools, community organizations, including religious organizations, institutions of higher education, city or county government agencies, for-profit corporations and other public or private entities are eligible for CCLC XXI scholarships. This federally funded grant program supports high-quality out-of-school learning opportunities and related activities for students who attend eligible schools. Recent flexibility from the US Department of Education allows CCLC XXI funds to be used to program extended learning time during the school day, week, or year in addition to time outside of school.

Rural Education Toolbox

The Rural Educator Toolbox includes resources and tools related to data analysis, systematic review, funding opportunities, human capital, program support or direct support from government support teams for rural teachers and managers.

Administrator resources

teacher resources

parent resources

community resources

Additional sources

Last modified: 11/18/2022 2:01:36 PM