Small town snippets: Budget cuts and program grants

The legislature’s allocation of school funds and elimination of teacher tenure left some school administrators in smaller districts feeling uncertain about the future. School officials in LaCrosse and Ellinwood said they think the decisions made by the legislature could potentially be more of a burden than a benefit.

Transportation in southeast Kansas will be undergoing changes due to redistribution of funds by the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation. Those who rely on these services in Pittsburg will see changes in the near future. TheĀ Southeast Kansas Community Action Program is working to minimize the effects of the budget cuts.

A family farm in Atwood, Kan. will be able to develop new technology allowing for mobile slaughter and processing of poultry. Chris Sramek was awarded a grant from theĀ North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program for the research and development of this new mobile unit.

Small town snippets: The rural divide

Add political affiliations to the list of differences between urban and rural America. Data has indicated that those in rural areas tend to favor a more Republican ideology while urban Americans lean toward the Democratic party.

Rural poverty continues to increase while rates in more urban areas decline. The reported rate for rural poverty was 17.8 percent in 2012 while the poverty rate among children in rural areas was higher.

The Neighbor to Neighbor Statewide Food Drive will continue next week as part of Kansas Agriculture Week. Donations collected will stay local to benefit struggling Kansans.

Small town snippets: Rural housing, healthcare changes; agriculture education

Populations in western Kansas have been declining. However, a revised definition of “rural” in the new Farm Bill may help to revive the housing market in these areas due to the availability of USDA home loans.

A rural Kansas school faced impending closure until it decided to take a new approach to its curriculum. The Walton Rural Life Center adopted an agriculture-based curriculum and has seen an increase in enrollment since the curriculum’s inception in 2007.

A bill which would allow increased flexibility for outpatient services in small hospitals passed the Senate on Feb. 10. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Moran, R-KS, prevents enforcement of the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.