Elements of Child Qualification
According to sections 1115(b)(1)(A) and 1309(2) of the statute and section 200.81(d) of the regulations, a child is eligible for the Migrant Education Program if:
- The child is younger than 22 and has not graduated from high school or does not hold a high school equivalency certificate; and
- The child is a migrant agricultural worker or a migrant fisher or has a parent, spouse, or guardian who is a migrant agricultural worker or a migrant fisher; and
- The child has moved within the preceding 36 months in order to obtain (or seek) or to accompany (or join) a parent, spouse, or guardian to obtain (or seek), temporary or seasonal employment in qualifying agricultural or fishing work; and
- Such employment is a principal means of livelihood; and
- The child has moved from one school district to another.
- The child MUST accompany the parent/guardian/spouse on the move or join them after the move is made. “The child must make the move to be qualified.”
- The child does not have to do the work or perform the Qualifying Activity to be eligible for Migrant services, unless they made the move on their own.
How Parents Can Be Involved in the Migrant Program
Migrant Program personnel conduct home visits to recruit and identify migrant students and families to provide them with migrant support services, as needed. They provide educational opportunities for migrant families through parent trainings, English classes, and adult education.
Migrant Parent Advisory Council (MPAC)
The MPAC is an organization comprised primarily of parents of migratory children and youth, and other members of the school community. The MPAC organization will:
- Collaborate with school personnel, Migrant Program staff, and representatives from community agencies to plan, deliver, and evaluate Migrant Program services.
- Acquaint parents of migrant students with school personnel and services available at individual school sites and the district.
- Provide parents of migrant students with an opportunity to take an active role in the decisions that affect the education of their children.
- Provide parents of migrant students with an opportunity to consult with school personnel and give input on goals related to the program.
Migrant students have various risk factors in common with other disadvantaged students (e.g., poverty, poor health, and learning disabilities), however they also face additional challenges exclusive to their situations (e.g., disruption of education, poor record-keeping between schools, cultural and language difficulties, and social isolation). Due to the fact that migrant students usually account for only a small percentage of the total student population, many schools and districts find it difficult to dedicate the level of resources that may be necessary to ensure the best educational experience possible for their migrant students. The purpose of this program is to ensure that the special educational needs of migrant children are identified and addressed. This program supports high-quality and comprehensive educational programs for migrant children in order to help reduce the educational disruptions and other education related problems that result from frequent moves. This program also attempts to ensure that migrant students who move between states are not put at a disadvantage because of disparities in curriculum, graduation requirements, content, and student academic achievement standards. The program promotes interstate and intrastate coordination of services for migrant children, including providing for educational continuity through the timely transfer of pertinent school records.