The Office of Migrant Education (OME) has identified the need for special initiatives in three programmatic areas of the Migrant Education Program (MEP) to help attain the goal of assisting migrant children to achieve challenging academic standards and graduate from high school. One of these areas is the program function of targeting, which includes the following:
- proper and timely identification and recruitment of eligible students—especially those who are the most mobile,
- selection of students for services based on priority for service and need, and
- provision of services at a sufficient level of quality and intensity to give a reasonable promise of meeting the needs of the children being served.
Identifying and recruiting eligible migrant children is a cornerstone of the MEP. Identification means determining the presence and location of migratory children within a State. Recruitment means describing the benefits of the MEP to the child and his or her family and obtaining the necessary information to document the child's eligibility and enroll the child in the program. Identification and recruitment of migrant children are critical because:
- The children who are most in need of program services are often those who are the most difficult to find.
- Many migrant children would not fully benefit from school, and in some cases, would not attend school at all, if the State educational agencies (SEAs) failed to identify and recruit them into the MEP.
- Children cannot receive MEP services without a record of eligibility.
As each SEA is responsible for the identification and recruitment of all eligible migrant children in the State, it is important for SEAs to develop and implement policies and procedures that efficiently and effectively meet their responsibility to correctly identify and recruit all eligible migrant children residing in their State. Each SEA's MEP funding is based, in part, on its annual count of eligible migratory children.
ID&R Coordinators, migrant recruiters, and other ID&R experts have identified the following needs as being important to ensuring the proper and timely identification and recruitment of eligible migrant children:
- a communication and dissemination network
- information on best practices
- a standard ID&R manual
- clarification on various types of qualifying moves
- updated guidance
- more timely responses from OME to ID&R questions
- regular and consistent training for recruiters
- a web site focused on ID&R
- the expanded use of technology to support ID&R efforts
In 2000, the Office of Migrant Education launched an identification and recruitment initiative. The initiative brings together State ID&R Coordinators, OME staff, and others with expertise in the identification and recruitment of migrant students to improve current knowledge on (1) administrative procedures for effective ID&R systems, and (2) high-quality training materials for recruitment personnel.TOP
The primary objective of the identification and recruitment initiative is to help State Migrant Education Programs conduct timely and proper identification and recruitment of eligible migrant children.TOP
OME is working with SEA and operating agency personnel to support the continued improvement of migrant child identification and recruitment. Specifically, OME is working to:
- establish and sustain a professional network of ID&R coordinators,
- develop resources that help States strengthen their identification and recruitment practices and quality control systems to ensure effective targeting,
- disseminate "best practices" for migrant child identification and recruitment and determining migrant child eligibility, and
- update and improve access to current Federal policy guidance on migrant child eligibility, identification, and recruitment.
5. Contact Information
Tara Ramsey, Tara.Ramsey@ed.gov, (202) 260-2063TOP