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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Migrant Education Program?

The Migrant Education Program (MEP), found under Title 1 Part C, is a supplemental educational program that was created as a way to help remove educational barriers for children who move as a result of the migrant lifestyle (seasonal or temporary agricultural labor).

Why was the program created?

In 1960, a documentary was shown the day after Thanksgiving called 'The Harvest of Shame'. It was about the horrific living conditions and circumstances of migrant individuals and their children. As a result of public outcry, the framework of the Migrant Education Program was created and later included in the historic Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

Has the situation improved since 1965 for migrant students?

Yes, the situation has improved for some migrant families, but serious problems still persist among families that are considered 'migrant'. Statistically, migrant students have the highest dropout rate of any student demographic. They often have significant social, cultural,economic and often times linguistic barriers that impede their success. The Migrant Education Program was created to remove these educational barriers and allow students to reach their educational goals. 

How can a student be qualified as 'migrant'?

From Title 1, Part C:

“MIGRATORY CHILD- The term ‘migratory child’ means a child (ages 0-21) who is, or whose parent or spouse is, a migratory agricultural worker, including a migratory dairy worker, or a migratory fisher, and who, in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompany such parent or spouse, in order to obtain temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work”

In other words, any individual or family who has crossed district, state, or country lines to seek work in seasonal or temporary agriculture in the last 3 years could potentially qualify for Migrant Education Program Services.

Is working with horses  included as a qualifying activity?

According to state guidance, livestock does not include animals that are raised for sport, recreation, research, or pets. Therefore, horses that are bred for sport are not included among qualifying activities for livestock.

Are all migrant students also immigrants?

Not necessarily. Migrant students may also be immigrants, but in order to qualify for the Migrant Education Program, a student must make a qualifying move within the last 3 years.

What is an OSY (Out-of-School Youth)?

The Migrant Education Program, apart from serving K-12 students, serves individuals who are out of school as well. They are called Out of School Youth, or OSY. Any individual who is not currently enrolled in school and fits the eligibility criteria of a migrant student (has completed a move in the last 3 years to seek agricultural work) qualifies as an OSY. This includes H2A workers who come from other countries. With OSY, we seek to provide them with educational opportunities like enrolling in a GED program, learning English, life skills, etc.

What services can the Migrant Education Program provide?

  • Academic Instruction
  • Bilingual & Multicultural Instruction
  • After School Programs and Tutoring
  • Preschool Services
  • Vocational Instruction/ Adult Education
  • Career Education Services
  • Health Services
  • Parental Engagement
  • Liaisons to Local Agencies
  • Family Living
  • Summer Camps/ Transitional Programs
  • Location District Summer Schools

Why doesn't my district have a standalone Migrant Education Program?

Many Kentucky school districts have their own Migrant Education Program, complete with paid school staff. A program must generate at least $55,550 (a number determined by the quantity of eligible students and the depth of need) over a period of time to have a standalone, district-wide program. However, we are required under Title 1, Part C to serve any students who are qualified as 'migrant', regardless of whether the school district receives funding. When migrant students reside in a school district that doesn't have a program, they are to be served by a regional center.

What is the difference between 'supplementing' and 'supplanting'?

From our Advocate Handbook, developed by the Kentucky Department of Education:

Migrant education funds are used as supplemental to the regular services a migrant child receives. The statute requires that SEAs and local operating agencies: (1) use MEP funds to “supplement, not supplant” non-federal funds and (2) provide services to migratory children with state and local funds that are at least comparable to services provided non-migratory children

Supplement–A service added to the child’s existing curriculum to help the child succeed in education.

Supplant–A service that takes the place of an existing curriculum or service provided to migratory children

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