Flatlined: How Illinois Shortchanges Rural Students

Flatlined: How Illinois Shortchanges Rural Students

Winner of the Society for Professional Journalists’ 2007 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Documentary. Part of a series (“Chicago Matters: Valuing Education“) that was awarded a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism, 2007.

In the small town of La Harpe, Illinois, high school students don’t have access to classes most suburban kids take for granted. Not Spanish, not Calculus, not even Pre-calc. That’s because La Harpe’s homes and farms generate little property tax revenue. And in America, that’s how schools get a significant portion of their funding. “Flatlined: How Illinois Shortchanges Rural Students,“ starts in the La Harpe high school gym, where the Sweetheart Dance is in full swing.

Produced by 2 below zero’s Diane Richard and Todd Melby.

Questions & resources to start the conversation

Originally aired on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, 2006. Also broadcast on KFAI Minneapolis, as well as on numerous public radio stations in central Illinois.