Ohio rural districts

A list of each rural school district and its assigned style.

What makes a district rural?

In the year In 1996, the Ohio Department of Education created a classification for similar districts, similar to Ohio’s school districts. Rural districts with typology code 1 (blue on the map below) experience high student poverty and low enrollment. Rural districts with typology code 2 (green on the map below) experience student poverty and very low enrollment.

Ohio rural counties map

This is a map of Ohio's rural school districts.  It shows areas with high poverty in blue and areas with average poverty in green.

To create this literature, the department used multiple data sources to categorize districts based on common demographic and geographic characteristics. As a result, the classifications can be used as a basis for a sample of districts in the state. These classifications allow researchers to focus on specific districts, such as major urban districts or high-poverty rural districts. For 2013, eight categories of typology were created (one more than in 2007). The rural typology classifications are described in the table below.

2013 typology code

Main grouping


Districts in typology

Students in typology

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

National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) area codes

Area codes are a measure of a school district’s geographic location. The codes range from “big city” to “rural”. There will be new codes for the 2017-2018 school year and beyond, based on the geographic standards used in the 2000 Census. The current codes were used for the 2016-2017 school year and earlier.

Ohio’s alternative definition of rural

Each state may choose an alternative definition of rural to identify districts eligible for REAP funding. When NCES makes changes to local codes, some districts that were previously eligible for REAP will no longer be eligible and will lose this valuable funding. Ohio has a new alternative definition using a district typology. Districts identified as rural under the district typology may qualify for REAP funding.

Give opportunities

Rural Education Initiative

The Rural Education Initiative (Title V, Part B) is a collection of federal programs designed to meet the unique needs of rural local education agencies (LEAs). These LEAs often lack the manpower and resources needed to compete for federal competitive grants and often receive formula allocations that cannot be used effectively for their intended purposes.

  • Title V, Part B – Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) – Title V Part B (REAP) provides additional funding to support eligible rural districts that are unable to compete for federal competitive grants and receive small allocations in federal entitlement funds. REAP funds are used to implement effective federal programs to improve student academic performance.
  • Small, rural school success programThe purpose of the Small, Rural School Success (SRSA) program is to help rural area education agencies (LEAs) fund initiatives aimed at improving student academic achievement. LEAs are eligible for funding if they meet basic eligibility and application requirements. Awards are given annually, and award amounts are determined by a formula. You may use SRSA funds to carry out activities authorized by 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 financial support to rural districts for initiatives to improve student outcomes. The giveaway is non-competitive, and eligibility is determined by law. Awards are made to State Education Agencies (SEAs) that meet the criteria applicable to Local Education Agencies (LEAs). Awards are given to all SEAs who apply and meet the applicable criteria.

Additional federal programs

  • Nita M. – Nita M. Lowe’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program provides academic support to children from economically disadvantaged families who attend low-performing schools. School districts, schools, community organizations, 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 learning opportunities and related activities for students attending eligible schools. Recent flexibility from the U.S. Department of Education allows the 21st CCLC funds to be used outside of school hours during the school day, week, or year for expanded instructional programming.

Rural education toolbox

The Rural Educator Toolbox includes resources and tools related to data analysis, systematic review, funding opportunities, human capital, program grants, or direct support from state support groups to rural educators and administrators.

Administrative resources

Teacher’s resources

Parental resources

Community resources

Additional resources

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