BeginningsThe Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association was formed in the Spring of 1980 by a group of administrators from Class C and D school districts who saw the need for an organization dedicated to the interests of rural and small schools in Nebraska. It was felt there should be an organization developed which could speak specifically for the promotion of better education in rural Nebraska schools. The Nebraska Rural Community Schools Association was formed at an ad hoc meeting of 8 superintendents in November 1979. The founding 8 superintendents scheduled further meetings, and having found large interest, formed a steering committee to draft the original by-laws of the organization. NRCSA officially came into being on May 6, 1980 when the first constitution and by-laws were approved. The original by-laws looked very different from the ones that are seen today. The state was divided into regions, each of which elected their own officers, and each region selected two officials to serve on NRCSA's Board of Directors. The influence of the NRCSA Board was extremely limited; decisions were to be made by the regional groups. Dues, then the organization's only source of income, were set at $10.00 per person.
GrowthThere was a high amount of interest in the organization from the very beginning. NRCSA saw its membership grow to 51 members in 1981 and to about 100 districts when school memberships were authorized in 1983. The organization reached 185 member schools in 1988, and finally over 200 schools by 1990. As the organization grew, its original by-laws became outdated. Changes were made to expand the influence of NRCSA's governing committees. The current presidency cycle and district representative positions were adopted, and the organization adopted a fully incorporated non-profit form. The corporate by-laws were adopted in 1989. NRCSA has maintained different variations of this corporate structure to this day.
Despite a modest beginning, NRCSA now has membership from school districts and ESU's across Nebraska. 180 school districts and ESU's with over 69,000 students from all parts of the state are represented through NRCSA memberships. Membership is open to any educational institution including school districts, colleges, and Educational Service Units. A non-voting individual membership is available for retired educators and other individuals committed to quality rural schools.
NRCSA History 1979-1990
For a more extensive history of NRCSA's formation and operations prior to becoming a corporation in 1989, the following history is available. The document was generated by Jim Havelka, then superintendent of Rising City Public Schools.