In 1976, a group from California initiated efforts to work with Mexico on issues related to the education of students who migrate between California and Mexico. Thereafter, other border States became involved, giving birth to the Binational Migrant Education Initiative (BMEI). The Initiative was started and supported by individual States that had a migrant student population that migrates regularly between Mexico and the United States.
In an effort to promote educational continuity, participants in the BMEI began to meet annually for the purpose of improving the education of those students. In August of 1990, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by officials within the Departments of Education in the United States and Mexico as a way to deepen and strengthen their working relationship with one another to enhance their efforts to improve primary, secondary, and postsecondary education in both countries. The MOU emphasis cooperation at the federal level and encourages joint activities at the state, local and institutional levels.
Annex V to the MOU that was signed in June 1998 re-established the Department's commitment to promote cooperation and coordination between the two countries. This Annex prompted the Office of Migrant Education to (1) encourage more State migrant programs to participate in the Binational activities, and to (2) help support the already established state Binational efforts with 1308 coordination monies.TOP
The OME has identified the BMEI as an area where leadership initiatives may be helpful in supporting the effective administration and operation of the Migrant Education Program (MEP). Those activities include the following:
Convene an annual meeting of State Directors who participate in the BMEI to discuss strategic plans, annual events, and operational issues.
- Convene a work group to (1) help design the U.S. BMEI presentation for the annual Mexico/USA BMEI Forum, and (2) recommend updates to the existing strategic plan.
- Support the dissemination of the strategic plan and materials related to operational issues (e.g., evaluation activities).
- Facilitate coordination efforts among States.
The OME has established core strategies to guide its administration of the MEP. One of these strategies is to improve the program function of coordination. The intent of the Binational Initiative is to develop the coordination of activities among U.S. States that participate in programs with Mexican States to improve the continuity of educational and social services for migrant students who migrate between the two countries. The OME's specific objectives through involvement with the BMEI are as follows:
- To support and strengthen the efforts of States participating in the U.S. Binational Migrant Education Initiative through the interstate coordination of programs.
- To support a continuing dialogue and sharing of information between educators of migrant students in the U.S. and Mexico.
- To contribute to and promote the implementation of binational cooperation in the field of education within the context of the United States-Mexico Memorandum of Understanding on Education.
4. Contact Information
If you have any questions, please contact:
Lisa C. Gillette
Acting Director, Office of Migrant Education
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and annexes on Education between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Mexican States. These documents were formed to promote a better understanding between the peoples of each country, to strengthen the relationship of the two countries through education, and to improve the educational systems of each country. (August 5, 2005)
- MOU MS WORD (28K)
- Annex VI - Activities for 2000-2002
- Annex VII - Activities for 2002-2004
- Annex VIII - Activities for 2004-2006
- Annex IX - Activities for 2012-2014 PDF(800K)| PDF (Spanish)(910K)
The Bilingual Teacher Exchange: A Guide for Supporting Education Without Borders is a publication that (1) describes the key components of the Binational Teacher Exchange, (2) explains the steps necessary to consider when planning and implementing a Binational Teacher Exchange, and (3) presents examples of successful strategies used in implementing a Binational Teacher Exchange. Through exchange programs, teachers have opportunities to learn first-hand about other countries' standards and benchmarks; testing requirements; curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices; general and special program offerings; class size and structure; successful teaching strategies; effective discipline methods; and expectations for parental involvement.