Overpopulated and Underfunded.
During the 1930s about one-half of all children went to school in rural areas, where the proportion of children to adults was higher than in the cities. In 1930 rural school districts had, on average, 686 children per 1,000 white women; cities had only 384 children per 1,000 white women. There were 799 children per 1,000 black women in rural districts, compared to 360 per 1,000 black women in urban centers. Such ratios meant that rural areas had proportionately fewer adults to educate children than did cities. They also had fewer resources. The states with the highest birth rates—Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas—also had the highest levels of poverty in the nation and the lowest expenditures on education. Rural schools on average spent about half what urban schools spent per pupil. In 1930 Arkansas spent...
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