Education: Red Schools Rocking

The little red schoolhouse, an institution already badly battered by the winds of modernity, last week faced a tornado. One thousand Illinois schools have closed recently because poorly paid teachers are taking war jobs. Most of the shutdowns are one-room rural schools—the 9,703 one-room schools of Illinois outnumber those of any other state.

Most states have been consolidating their rural schools:

¶Consolidated schools are cheaper. In one-room Illinois schools, the cost per pupil is from three to 19 times as high as the state average, although teachers are sometimes paid as little as $400 per...

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