Education Policy for Sparsely Populated Areas: The Case of Nebraska topic for Friday, Sept. 7, Friday Fireside Chat

Joan M. Blauwkamp
Professor & Chair, Department of Political Science, (308) 865-8759,

Education Policy for Sparsely Populated Areas: The Case of Nebraska is the subject of a Friday Fireside Chat from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in the Nebraskan Student Union Fireplace Lounge on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.

The Friday Fireside Chat series is sponsored by the Department of Political Science and takes place the first Friday of each month.

The discussion leader will be Dr. Peter Longo, UNK professor of political science.


Schools serve as an adhesive that holds democratic societies together. Rural communities are often faced with the loss of the local school, due to the realities that drive school consolidation policy. School consolidations can damage rural communities when economic and political efficiencies are not tempered by constitutional restraints. Nebraska offers an interesting case study with respect to rural education as there are three forces at work.  School consolidation policy is well-established, home schooling is constitutionally supported, and policymakers embrace virtual learning for rural areas. The interest of rural citizens and communities is not fully understood as these forces play-out.  How should these forces play-out?  Please come prepared to ask questions, share your perspective, and learn more about education policy for sparsely populated areas.