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.

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