Title V, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as
amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), is also known as the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP). REAP is designed to assist rural school districts that may often receive grant allocations in amounts that are too small to be effective in meeting their intended purposes.
Schools are designated as rural by the Secretary of Education. Rural schools are assigned locale codes which specify the number of people living in a particular area and the distance from a metropolitan area.
The two initiatives with REAP are: The Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Program and the Rural Low-Income Schools (RLIS) Program.
Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Program
The SRSA program’s purpose is to provide rural local educational
agencies (LEAs) with financial assistance to fund initiatives aimed at
improving student academic achievement. To qualify for SRSA, a school district
must meet the statutory requirements of being both small and rural [ESSA
5211(b)]. To be considered small and rural a school district must have an
average daily attendance of less than 600 students and only serve schools with
a locale code of 41, 42, or 43, as determined by the
Secretary of Education, or the secretary of education has determined, based on
a demonstration by the LEA and concurrence of the state education agency (SEA),
that the LEA is located in an area defined as rural by the state.
Rural Low-Income Schools (RLIS) Program
The RLIS program is a non-competitive grant with the purpose of providing
rural districts with financial assistance for initiatives aimed at improving
student achievement. Districts may use RLIS funds to pay for activities
authorized under Title I, Part A (including parent and family engagement); Title II, Part A; Title III; and Title IV, Part A.
To qualify for RLIS, a school district must meet the statutory requirements of
being both low-income and rural [ESSA 5211(b)(1)]. To meet these requirements, 20%
or more of children ages 5 to 17 years served by the school district must be
from families with incomes below the poverty line and all schools served by the
district must have a school locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43 as determined
by the Secretary of Education, or the secretary of education has determined,
based on a demonstration by the LEA and concurrence of the SEA, that the LEA is
defined as rural by the state.