New York is considering creating a Center for Rural Schools as a way to strengthen rural communities in upstate New York, the Star-Gazette of Elmira, N.Y, reports.

“If we’re serious about remaking and strengthening upstate New York, we need to aggressively recognize that a rural school district can be a driving force for revitalization,” said Sen. George Winner, R-Elmira, sponsor of legislation to create the center. The New York Center for Rural Schools would be placed at Cornell University in Ithaca (above). The state Senate’s current version of the state budget has $500,000 appropriated for the endeavor.

“It’s an investment that we believe can produce significant returns for upstate communities and the upstate economy,” Winner said. “The Center for Rural Schools can play a key role in any overall upstate revitalization strategy.”

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