Improvements Needed in the Migrant Education Program

HRD-79-100: Published: Aug 28, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 28, 1979.

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In surveying the migrant education program in California, several areas needing improvement were identified. The migrant education program is administered by the Office of Education (OE). Program funds are to be used for establishing or improving needs of children of migratory farmworkers and fishermen.

OE and California migrant education program officials face numerous problems that hinder their efforts to establish and improve programs to meet the special education needs of migratory farmworkers' children. Many children may not be receiving migrant education services, although the Federal Government will provide funds for every student registered in the program. Little reliable information is available on the number of eligible children not participating in the program. OE regulations require that states in their grant applications identify locations where eligible children are residing or are expected to reside during the year and the number of such children. Beginning with fiscal year 1980 grant applications, OE requires that any states not planning to serve all eligible children must explain why. The migrant education program regulations define an active migratory child as one who has moved within the past 12 months. A consultant's study indicates, however, that many migrant education participants in California do not move that often. The lack of a uniform program evaluation methodology has persisted for many years; however OE expects a consultant's study proposing a methodology to be completed late in 1979.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) should require the Commissioner of OE to: assure that states comply with HEW regulations for identifying the number of eligible children and the areas where they live and disclosing any children not receiving services and an explanation of the reasons why; assess the need to persuade states to encourage eligible nonparticipating school ditsricts to participate in the program and, where appropriate, determine whether it is feasible to contract with other organizations to provide services; clarify HEW regulations concerning conditions for participation of former migrant children in the program; closely monitor California's actions to assure its compliance with HEW regulations for providing services to former migrant children; work with California to develop a methodology that will be useful in evaluating the programs effectiveness; and emphasize to states that data from the Migrant Student Record Transfer System must be transmitted to teachers promptly.

    Agency Affected:


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