The National Rural Education Association (NREA) was originally founded as the Department of Rural Education in 1907. It is the oldest established national organization in the United States. Through the years, it has evolved as a strong and respected organization of rural school administrators, teachers, board members, regional service agency personnel, researchers, business and industry representatives, and others interested in maintaining the vitality of rural school systems across the country.

Our Director

Dr. Allen Pratt is the executive director of the National Rural Education Association. He has served in this role for five years. His work focuses on providing a unified voice for rural schools and communities. Dr. Pratt’s past work has been in workforce development, school reform, professional learning communities, and rural education initiatives

Non-Profit Organization

The NREA is a membership organization that operates as a tax-exempt, non-profit entity. It is directed by an elected executive committee consisting of national representatives of the following entities:

  • Rural School Administrators
  • Rural School Teachers
  • State Education Agencies
  • Educational Service Agencies
  • Higher Education
  • Rural School District Boards
  • At-Large Constituencies


In addition to the NREA executive committee, the NREA has two governing bodies: the corporate meeting and the delegate assembly, made up of two representatives (and two alternates) from each of the 50 states. The delegate assembly hears reports from standing committees and confirms resolutions, policy matters, and other association policies.

Affiliate organizations, represented by one delegate at the annual delegate assembly, meet annually at the NFARE.