Even though migrant children qualify for Title I, Part A services on the same basis as other disadvantaged children, studies estimate that the antecedent Chapter 1 programs served only about one-third of the migrant students eligible for such services. Continuous coordination with Title I, Part A programs and personnel can help ensure that eligible migrant students receive Title I, Part A services, and that MEP funds are used to meet the unique needs of migrant students that result from their migratory lifestyles.
Under Section 1115 of the ESEA, a child attending a targeted assistance school is eligible for Title I, Part A services is entitled to a free public education through grade 12 if he or she resides in an eligible school attendance area, and is not older than age 21. The statute requires that Title I, Part A funds be used first for those children identified by the school as educationally disadvantaged, who are failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the state's student performance standards. For children who are below the age of compulsory school attendance, an eligible child is one who can benefit from an organized instructional program provided in a school or other educational setting.
Example of serving a Migrant Child on the same basis as other children
A targeted assistance school receives Title I, Part A funds to provide a supplemental reading program for children who are failing or at risk of failing to meet the state's reading standards. All students in the school who meet the Title I, Part A eligibility requirements may participate in the program, with those with the most severe needs being placed first. A migrant student who performs well below grade level enters the school two weeks after the program has begun. The child plans to remain at the school for eight weeks. That student must be considered for participation in the program on the same basis as other children in the school.
The statue explicitly requires Part A staff to coordinate and integrate services for migrant children:
- Section 1111(a) requires states to develop their state plans in consultation with local education agencies, and to coordinate this plan with all other programs authorized by the ESEA, including the MEP.
- Section 1112(b)(4)(B) and (8) requires that an LEA's Part A plan, which must be submitted to and approved by the State, include:
- "a description of how the [LEA] will coordinate and integrate services under [Part A] with other educational services ... such as--services for ... migratory children served under Part C or who were formerly eligible for services under Part C in the two-year period preceding the date of the enactment of the [new statute]..;" and
- "a description of how the [LEA] will ensure that migratory children and formerly migratory children who are eligible to receive services under this part are selected to receive such services on the same basis as other children who are selected to receive services under [Part A]."
- Section 1114(b)(1)(B)(iv) requires that schoolwide programs more fully include "Schoolwide reform strategies that--address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs of children who are members of the target population of any program that is included in the schoolwide program..."
- Section 1115(c)(2) requires targeted assistance schools to assist participating children "by the coordination of resources provided under [Part A] with other resources to enable the children served to meet the state content standards and state student performance standards."
Furthermore, the counterpart to these requirements (found in Section 1306(a)(1)(F)) requires joint planning by local staff, including those funded by Part A, as to how to identify and address the needs of migrant children. Migrant educators and parents are encouraged to work with Title I school and LEA staff to enable them to plan programs in such a way that the special needs of migrant children and other highly mobile students are taken into account.
Coordination with other Federally Funded Education Programs
The ESEA encourages migrant educators to fully explore options for coordinating and integrating services provided under other federally funded programs, including those discussed earlier under "Links with Other Education Legislation." In addition to coordination with Title I, Part A, the statute specifically requires joint planning among migrant programs, early childhood programs, and bilingual programs under Part A of Title VII (Section 1 306(a)(1)(F)).
Example of Coordination Across Programs
- Co-funding specialists in Migrant, Bilingual, and Title I, Part A programs;
- Moving the administration of Migrant, Bilingual, and Title I, Part A programs to one central location;
- Creating a central electronic database to track the effectiveness of multiple services provided to students;
- Streamlining data collection by creating one consolidated form to record the various services provided to individual students;
- Providing coordinated on-site training for principals and school staff in how to make effective and integrated use of Migrant, Part A, and Bilingual education services;
Coordinating the efforts of paraprofessionals and aides to prevent overstaffing and help such personnel make effective use of time and resources.