The Colorado Rural Schools Alliance was formed in 2003 by rural superintendents and school board members committed to strengthening the rural voice at the Capitol. At the outset, the Alliance relied on CASB for operational and organizational support. In 2013, the Alliance Board established a separate non-profit organization and began its work towards developing a robust, multi-dimensional association to scale rural innovation and support rural schools, while also strengthening partnerships and doubling down on our advocacy for Colorado's rural students and schools.
From the start, our goal was to be THE VOICE for rural schools in Colorado. By speaking as one and presenting a clear,
unified voice on behalf of rural schools and their communities we have been able to articulate our unique strengths and
challenges. Issues that are important to small schools and communities have been and continue to be voiced loudly
and clearly to the governor, legislators, the state board of education, CDE and others who make decisions of importance
for our children.
Policy makers now turn to the Rural Schools Alliance when they have questions regarding the impact of legislation or policies on rural school districts. Our members are sought out to serve on state boards and committees. Our input has led to the creation of bills and policies that directly benefit rural schools and led to the defeat of others that would have put us at a disadvantage.
We continue to explore new ways to strengthen our Rural voice, scale rural innovation and increase awareness as to the strengths and challenges in our rural schools.
Bill Wilson Region 1
Brush School District
Kirk Henwood At-Large
South Routt School District
Michelle Murphy stepped into the role of Executive Director of the Rural Alliance in September 2015. Michelle is an attorney and is a leading legal voice for k-12 at the Capitol. Michelle also provides general counsel legal services to rural schools and BOCES through the CRSA Legal Services Program. Before joining the Alliance, Michelle served as CASB’s Advocacy Counsel from 2010-2015.
Frank Reevesjoined the Alliance in 2022 as our Director of Operations and Strategic Partnerships. Frank is a long time rural educator and advocate and has served as a teacher, principal and superintendent in several rural and small rural districts throughout the State. Frank's experience and expertise allows him to speak directly to the impact of state level policies on smaller rural systems. Frank has built strong partnerships with our K-12 partners, for the benefit our Rural Alliance members, and his in-depth understanding of our school finance system strengthens our work at the Capitol and beyond.