Rural Education Achievement Program

The Rural Education Achievement Program provides funds to support students and teachers in rural locations to improve achievement levels to meet the State standards in education. School administrative units (SAUs) may be eligible for one of two federal grants: the Small Rural Schools (SRS) Achievement Grant or the Rural Low-Income (RLI) Grant. These formula grants are part of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Title VI Flexibility and Accountability.

The U.S. Department of Education provides the SRS grant to small, local, rural SAUs (fewer than 600 students in the SAU in daily attendance). SAUs that meet the guideline criteria may use their funding in a variety of ways to support or supplement programs for teachers and students.

The RLI grant is a formula grant Maine distributes to eligible rural SAUs that do not qualify for the SRS grant but meet the Title IA poverty criteria and are classified as rural communities. These grants are more restrictive than the SRS grants but have enough flexibility to meet the program goals of most eligible SAUs.

Three factors determine an SAU’s eligibility for the grants:

  1. Locale code issued to each SAU by the Census Bureau
  2. Average daily attendance from the beginning of the previous school year until Dec. 1 of that year
  3. Poverty level as determined by the NCLB Title IA program of the State

Title VI: Rural Low-Income Grant 2014-15 (PDF, 10KB)

Rural Education Achievement Program Title VI-B, Subpart 2: Rural and Low-Income Grant Consolidated Application Guidance (PDF, 506KB) presentation



Chelsey A. Fortin
Rural Education Program Director
Maine Department of Education