Children are eligible to receive Migrant Education Program services if they meet the definition of “migratory child” and if the basis for their eligibility is properly recorded on a certificate of eligibility (COE) or other written or electronic form. The term "migratory child" is defined in section 1309(2) of the statute and section 200.81 (e) of the regulations.
Determining whether a child meets this definition is often difficult and depends on a recruiter's assessment of information presented by a parent, spouse, or guardian.
According to sections 1115(b)(1)(A) and 1309(2) of the statute and sections 200.81 (e) and 200.81(g) of the regulations, a child is eligible for the Migrant Education Program if:
The child is younger than 22 and has not graduated from high school or does not hold a high school equivalency certificate (this means that the child is entitled to a free public education or is of an age below compulsory school attendance); and
The child is a migrant agricultural worker or a migrant fisher or has a parent, spouse, or guardian who is a migrant agricultural worker or a migrant fisher; and
The child has moved within the preceding 36 months in order to obtain (or seek) or to accompany (or join) a parent, spouse, or guardian to obtain (or seek), temporary or seasonal employment in qualifying agricultural or fishing work; and
The child has moved from one school district to another; and
The child has changed from one residence to another residence due to economic necessity.
What is a migratory agricultural worker?
According to section 200.81 (d) of the regulations, a migratory agricultural worker is “a person who, in the preceding 36 months, has moved from one school district to another . . . in order to obtain temporary employment or seasonal employment in agricultural work,including dairy work.
How does a recruiter determine whether a worker moved with the intent to seek or obtain qualifying work?
A recruiter must use sound and reasonable judgment to determine whether the particular facts and circumstances support a determination that the worker moved with this intent. In certain situations, the recruiter should provide additional comments on the COE, and/or obtain supporting documentation, to explain his or her rationale.