The Migrant Education Program (MEP) is a federally funded program, authorized under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The program is intended to support high quality and comprehensive educational programs for migrant children to help decrease the educational disruption and other problems that result from repeated moves, both between school districts and between states, as parents follow work within the agriculture industry.
MEP is available in all 50 states and is supported by both federal and state laws. The California MEP is the largest in the nation, as one out of every three migrant students in the United States resides in California, according to the California Department of Education (CDE). The CDE estimates that, “there are over 200,000 migrant students attending California schools during the regular school year and 97,000 attending summer/intersession classes.”
According to the CDE, a child is considered “migrant” if a parent or guardian is a migratory worker in the agricultural, dairy, lumber, or fishing industries and whose family has moved during the past three years. This includes a move within the state but between school districts; or from out of state into California. Eligibility is determined by a Migrant Education recruiter through an interview conducted within the home of the child.
For more information the California Migrant Education Program and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit the CDE website at www.cde.ca.gov/sp/me/mt/.
You can also get information by calling the CDE Migrant, Indian, and International Education Office at 916-319-0851.
According to NCLB, the purpose of Migrant Education is to:
- Support high-quality and comprehensive educational programs for migratory
children to help reduce the educational disruption and other problems that
result from repeated moves;
- Ensure that migratory children who move among the states are not penalized
in any manner by disparities among the states in curriculum, graduation
requirements, and state academic content and student academic achievement
- Ensure that migratory children are provided with appropriate educational
services (including supportive services) that address their special needs in a
coordinated and efficient manner;
- Ensure that migratory children receive full and appropriate opportunities to
meet the same challenging state academic content and achievement standards
that all children are expected to meet;
- Design programs to help migratory children overcome educational disruption,
cultural and language barriers, social isolation, various health-related problems,
and other factors that inhibit the ability of such children to make a successful
transition to postsecondary education or employment; and
- Ensure that migratory children benefit from state and local systemic reforms.
Source: California Department of Education; http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/me/mt/overview.asp