The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act has been the main focus of educational debate since we entered the 21st Century. It has left educators in dispute about the reasonableness of federally-ordered reforms and the necessity for holding all students to the same academic standards. The 2001 legislation expanded the federal government’s role in public education and required greater school accountability and teacher qualifications with little concern for mandate funding. The NCLB requirements have resulted in larger public schools and rural school consolidation. This development has placed unnecessary burden on public schools and has forced many districts to eliminate educational programming. This article will discuss the ramifications of NCLB in public school settings, as well as the specific problems of schools in rural areas.