Community Development News

Diller-Odell Public Schools navigates challenge of unbalanced state funding

Like most rural schools in Nebraska, Diller-Odell Public Schools faces an imbalanced funding stream caused by a complex property tax and school funding system.

While no school is the same, Diller-Odell, located on the Jefferson-Gage County line along the Kansas border, shows the tumultuous times rural schools and the agriculture economy have faced in recent years. With little state funding, the district is reliant on local property taxes and, because of a recent spike in land valuations, most of the burden is on area farmers.

Top 5 of 2019: You can determine your actual broadband connection

In our second highest viewed post of 2019, we feature a useful tool for all rural Americans. Across the nation, internet service providers report service information twice every year to the Federal Communications Commission. However, the current reporting method is flawed. The tool described in this blog post can help rural residents share their actual broadband experience with their elected officials to show them more accurate mapping is long overdue. This piece is authored by Cody Smith, our policy associate, and appeared on our website in April.

Food + Art Conference feeds eager entrepreneurs’ business needs

Small food and arts-based businesses were offered tools needed to be successful in growing their businesses at the first-ever Food + Art Conference in Pender, Nebraska. The event was hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs in October.

In the heart of rural America, attendees were able to gain access to resources usually only found at larger conferences in urban areas.

Conference focuses on food and arts-based businesses and rural communities

Registration is open for the Food + Art Conference: Growing Rural Businesses and Communities, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs.

The event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 10, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Pender Community Center, 614 Main St., in Pender, Nebraska.

The conference will offer resources and connections for food and arts-based businesses, and rural community or economic developers wishing to develop local economic opportunities around local foods and the arts.

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