Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the number and characteristics of children who change schools frequently, focusing on: (1) their success in school compared to children who have never changed schools; (2) whether federal educational programs provide adequate assistance to mobile children; and (3) whether improved student record systems help schools make informed judgments about the services these students need.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|Given the great educational needs of migrant children who have changed school districts recently, Congress may wish to consider focusing migrant education funding to give higher priority to such children. This could be accomplished, for example, by limiting eligibility for federal Migrant Education Program services only to migrant children who have changed school districts within the last 2 years, rather than continuing program eligibility to formerly migrant children who have not changed school districts for as many as 6 years.||Congress took action when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, was reauthorized.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Education||1. The Department of Education should determine the reason(s) for the low Chapter 1 participation rates of low-achieving children who have changed schools frequently.|
|Department of Education||2. The Department of Education should develop strategies so that all eligible children who have changed schools frequently, including migrant children, will have access to Chapter 1 services.|
|Department of Education||3. The Department of Education should determine the feasibility of using electronic student record systems, such as those currently being adopted by some states and school districts for all students, instead of the Migrant Student Record Transfer System (MSRTS).|