There is a quiet war in Iowa. On one side is assembled the professional education establishment of the state: the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the state board of education, and legislators with significant influence over the committees that affect distribution of state aid to local school districts. Opposing them is an assortment of small-town citizens, farmers, and a few rural school people pulled together by two housewives into a grass-roots political organization called People United for Rural Education (PURE). 1