John talks with Rob Mahaffey, Executive Director of the Rural School and Community Trust, which recently signed a partnership agreement with AASA, the School Superintendents Association. Sixty percent of AASA members represent small or rural school districts. John and Rob discussed a variety of important rural education issues, including the U.S. Department of Education's preliminary report on what actions can be taken to improve how it considers the unique needs of rural schools and rural school districts as it develops and implements its policies and programs. Mahaffey called the preliminary report “incomplete,” noting that the Rural Trust made a number of suggestions on how to improve the report to be more aligned with the congressional mandate. Rob also hoped that the final report would include a more robust stance on research in the rural space. John and Rob also discussed the Trump Administration’s FY 2019 budget request of education and the impact of the new tax law on public education.