Rural Education

Ohio’s Rural Districts

List of each rural school district and its assigned typology .

What makes a district rural? 

In 1996, the Ohio Department of Education created classification for different types of similar districts, referred to as the typology of Ohio school districts. Rural districts in Typology Code 1 (blue in the map below) experience high student poverty and low student population.  Rural districts in Typology Code 2 (green in the map below) experience average student poverty and very low student population.

Map of Ohio's Rural Districts

This is a map of Ohio's Rural School Districts. It shows areas with high poverty colored in blue and areas with average poverty colored in green.

To create this typology, the Department used several data sources to classify like districts together based on shared demographic and geographic characteristics. As a result, the classifications can serve as a basis for a stratified sample of districts in the state. These classifications also allow researchers to focus on a specific type of district, such as major urban districts or rural districts with high poverty. Eight typology categories were created for the 2013 typology (one more than the 2007 typology). The rural typology classifications are described in the table below. 

2013  Typology Code

Major Grouping


Districts Within Typology

Students Within Typology

1 Rural high student poverty and low student population 124 170,000
2 Rural average student poverty and very low student population 107 110,000


National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) Locale Codes

Locale codes are a measure of the geographic area of a school district. The codes range from “large city” to “rural.” Based on the geographic standards used in the 2000 Census, there will be new codes for school year 2017-2018 and beyond . The current codes were used for school year 2016-2017 and before .

Ohio’s Alternative Definition for Rural

Each state may select an alternative definition for rural to identify districts that may qualify for REAP funding. When NCES makes a change in a locale code, some districts which previously were eligible for REAP are no longer eligible and lose this valuable funding. Ohio has a new an alternative definition using a District’s Typology. Those districts identified as rural under District Typology may meet the criteria for REAP funding.

Grant Opportunities

Rural Education Initiative

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

  • Title V, Part B - Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) - Title V Part B (REAP) provides supplemental funding to support eligible rural districts that do not have the capacity to compete for federal competitive grants and receive smaller allocations in Federal entitlement funds. The REAP funds are used to implement effective Federal programs to improve student academic performance.
  • Small, Rural School Achievement Program - The purpose of the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program is to provide rural local educational agencies (LEAs) with financial assistance to fund initiatives aimed at improving student academic achievement. LEAs are entitled to funds if they meet basic eligibility and application requirements. Awards are issued annually, and award amounts are determined using a formula. Grantees may use SRSA funds to carry out activities authorized under any of the following federal programs: Video.
  • Rural and Low-Income Schools Program - The purpose of the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program is to provide rural districts with financial assistance for initiatives aimed at improving student achievement. The grant is non-competitive, and eligibility is determined by statute. Awards are issued annually to State education agencies (SEAs), which make subgrants to local education agencies (LEAs) that meet the applicable requirements. Awards are made to all SEAs that apply and meet the applicable requirements.

Additional Federal Programs

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

The Rural Education Toolbox

The Rural Educator’s Toolbox includes resources and tools related to data analysis, systemic review, funding opportunities, human capital, program supports or direct supports from the state support teams for rural educators and administrators. 

Administrator Resources

Teacher Resources

Parent Resources

Community Resources

Additional Resources



Last Modified: 7/14/2023 2:22:57 PM