With the public school year ending in Wisconsin, many parents worry what their children will do during the summer months. Parents of elementary-age students in Arena, Wisconsin, however, are wondering what they'll do next fall. After years of financial trouble, the only elementary school in Arena is closing its doors.
Reporter Julie Bosman highlighted the closing in a recent article for the New York Times. She notes that schools all over the midwest are experiencing similar problems of low attendance and funding for rural schools: "When you look at population patterns in Wisconsin and in plenty of other states, the numbers are right there."
Bosman herself grew up in a small school in Wisconsin and says that the closing of rural schools "sends a message about how [these] communities are changing for a lot of people." She joined Lake Effect's Mitch Teich to discuss the increasing consolodation of aging rural communities that create challenges for the future of towns like Arena: