Analysis of Migration Characteristics of Children Served Under the Migrant Education Program

HRD-83-40: Published: May 2, 1983. Publicly Released: May 2, 1983.

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GAO reviewed student enrollment patterns in six school districts to determine whether students classified as children of migratory agricultural workers are having their education disrupted because of their lifestyle.

GAO found that about 40 percent of the sample population classified as currently migratory had not missed school because of migration since enrolling or during 4 years prior to their last date of migration. These students migrated exclusively during the summer months, over holidays, or before initial school enrollment. Another 3.6 percent of the sample missed fewer than 10 days of school due to migration. Migrant children are eligible for migrant education program services for each year during which they are migratory and up to 5 years after that time. Present program regulations define a migratory child as one who has moved within the past 12 months. The move does not have to result in missed school days or a disruption of the child's education. The Secretary of Education has proposed revisions to the program regulations which would require that, to be considered migratory, children must have had their education interrupted as a result of the move. However, legislation is currently being considered that would preclude the Secretary's making such a change.

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