A multi-ethnic group of children in their classroom. They are sitting on the floor and raising their hand to answer a question posed by their teacher while reading a story. They are all smiling.


Pennsylvania’s Migrant Education Program assists local school districts in improving and coordinating the educational community for the children of the nation’s farm workers who have had their schooling interrupted. The emphasis of the federal legislation is helping migratory children to meet the same high standards expected of all children, by coordinating and supporting services that help their progress in school.


The goals of Pennsylvania’s Migrant Education Program are to ensure that all migrant students achieve challenging academic standards, graduate with a high school diploma or complete a General Education Diploma (GED), and upon graduation, are prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning, and productive employment.

Program Services

  • Afterschool tutorial and enrichment programs.
  • Summer programs.
  • Preschool programs.
  • In-home programs.
  • Referrals for social support services.
  • Student support services.
  • Parental involvement.
  • Language development.
  • Enriched education in math and science.
  • Increasing graduation and promotion rates.
  • Preparation for postsecondary education.
  • Participation in the national free lunch program.
  • Assistance with credit accrual.
  • Referral to the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP).
  • Student leadership programs.
  • Workshops and lessons for out-of-school youth (OSY).
  • Participation in the Congressional Award.


To qualify for the Migrant Education program, a child must have moved across a school district line within the past 36 months, and, after doing so, the child, the child’s guardian, or a member of the child’s immediate family actively sought or worked in new temporary or seasonal qualifying agricultural or fishing employment.

A migratory child includes youth who are migratory workers themselves or are dependents of migratory workers. The program serves children and youth birth through 21 who have not graduated from high school or earned a GED.


Do you know someone that may be eligible? Entering their information takes less than 2 minutes. A Migrant Education Program staff member will contact the family and determine if they are eligible.

q r code for referral website

Scan QR code to go to MEP referral webpage

parents and children smiling and meeting with recruiter in school cafeteria

Identification and Recruitment

The Identification and Recruitment ( ID&R) of eligible migrant children is a cornerstone of the MEP and its importance cannot be overemphasized. Identification and recruitment are critical activities 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 SEAs did not identify and recruit them into the MEP. This is particularly true of the most mobile migrant children who may be more difficult to identify than those who have settled in a community.

Children cannot receive MEP services without a record of eligibility.

The MEP is responsible for the proper and timely identification and recruitment of all eligible migrant children in the State, including securing pertinent information to document the basis of a child’s eligibility. Typically, MEP and their regional operating agencies record eligibility data on a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Recruiters obtain the data by interviewing the person responsible for the child, or the child himself or herself, in cases where the child moves independently. The MEP is responsible for implementing procedures to ensure the accuracy of eligibility information.

What do the terms “identification” and “recruitment” (ID&R) mean?

Identification means determining the location and presence of migrant children.

Recruitment means making contact with migrant families, explaining the MEP, securing the necessary information to make a determination that the child is eligible for the MEP, and recording the basis of the child’s eligibility on a COE. Upon successful recruitment of a migrant family, eligible children may be enrolled in the MEP.

Continuous Improvement Cycle

Pennsylvania performance targets are adopted for migrant children in reading, mathematics, and high school graduation.

A Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) identifies unique, high priority needs of migrant children and families across all areas of focus.

Measurable Program Outcomes (MPOs) help the MEP assess whether it is meeting identified migrant needs in targeted areas.

Service Delivery Strategies (laid out in the Service Delivery Plan) outline specific ways to achieve performance targets and MPOs across focus areas.

Evaluation efforts determine whether and to what extent the MEP is effectively achieving its goals for migrant children and families.

visual representation of Pennsylvania Migrant Education Program Continuous Improvement Cycle

Service Delivery Plan

Sections 1304(b) (1) and 1306 (a)(1) of the Every Student Succeeds Act statute require the SEA to ensure the state and its LOA’s identify and address the special education needs of migrant children. Furthermore, every SEA must develop and update a written comprehensive state SDP that includes an identification and assessment of the special educational needs of migrant children.

SEA’s must conduct a CNA to develop a comprehensive state plan for service delivery that addresses the special educational needs of migrant children. LOA’s must conduct a needs assessment to provide services that will meet the identified needs in accordance with the SDP for service delivery.

The SDP describes the strategies the SEA will pursue on a statewide basis to help migrant children and youth reach the performance targets the state has identified for them.

Comprehensive Needs Assessment Toolkit

The primary purpose of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) is to guide the overall design of the Migrant Education Program on a statewide basis. The CNA helps state education agencies (SEAs) and local operating agencies (LOAs) or local educational agencies (LEAs) prioritize the needs of migrant children by determining the specific services that will help migrant children achieve the state’s measurable outcomes and performance targets.

Program Evaluation

States are required to evaluate the effectiveness of the Migrant Education Program (MEP) and to provide guidance to their local projects on how to conduct local evaluations. Evaluations allow SEAs and LOAs to:

  1. determine whether the program is effective and document its impact on migrant children.
  2. improve program planning by comparing the effectiveness of different types of interventions.
  3. determine the degree to which projects are implemented as planned and identify problems that are encountered in program implementation.
  4. identify areas in which children may need different MEP services. A proper evaluation can provide powerful information regarding how best to use MEP funds to achieve the desired result.