The Migrant Education Department implements programs regionally and locally. Children of migrant workers may be affected by repeated moves, disruption in schooling, poverty, health needs, social isolation, and language barriers. Due to these barriers, migrant children may need assistance in meeting the challenging state content and performance standards which all students are expected to meet. Barriers in schools may cause many migrant children and youth to drop out prior to completing high school. In order to reduce the impact of these educational barriers, in 1966 the United States Congress authorized federal funding to establish the Migrant Education Program (MEP) under the authority of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
The ESEA of 1965, Title I, Part C, as amended, states the purpose of the MEP is to:
- Support high-quality and comprehensive supplemental educational programs for migratory children to help reduce the educational disruptions and other problems that result from repeated moves;
- Ensure that migratory children who move among the states are not penalized in any manner by disparities among the states in curriculum, graduation requirements, and state academic content and student academic achievement standards;
- Ensure that migratory children are provided with appropriate educational services (including supportive services) that address their special needs in a coordinated and efficient manner;
- Ensure that migratory children receive full and appropriate opportunities to meet the same challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards that all children are expected to meet;
- Design and collaborate with programs which help migratory children overcome educational disruption, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, various health-related problems, and other factors that inhibit the ability of such children to do well in school, and to prepare such children to make a successful transition to postsecondary education or employment; and
- Ensure that migratory children benefit from state and local systemic reforms.
At the time of enrollment, every family is given an “Occupational Questionnaire”. Once this form is completed, the pink copy is sent to the Bilingual and Migrant Education Department for processing. Based on the questionnaire, if the student meets the following criteria, the student is eligible to participate in the Migrant Education Program:
- Age: The child is younger than 22; and
- Educational level: The child has not graduated from high school or does not hold a high school equivalency certificate (GED); and
- Move: The child move with or to join a migratory worker for economic necessity across School District lines; and
- The time of the move: The move occurred in the preceding 36 months.
Description of Services
The Bilingual and Migrant Education Department provides a variety of services for migrant families and students:
- Migrant Family Recruitment
- The children who are most in need of program services are often those who are the most difficult to
- Many migrant children would not fully benefit from school, and in some cases would not attend school at all, if State Educational Agencies (SEAs) did not identify and recruit them into the Migrant Education Program (MEP).
- Children cannot receive MEP services without a certificate of
- Home-School Liaison at Secondary Schools
- Works with secondary school counselors and teachers to ensure Migrant students experience success
- Supplemental Instruction
- After school, intersession, and summer programs
- After School Tutoring, including home tutoring
- English language acquisition assistance
- College and career preparation for secondary students
- Citizenship Classes for Parents
- Contract with Las Colonias
- Health Services (when they impact academic achievement)
- Dental & Health check-ups (La Clínica de Familia)
- Referrals to social service agencies
- School Supplies
- Monthly meetings with parents and students