Why do migrant children need special services?
Migrant students have many risk factors in common with other disadvantaged students (e.g., poverty, poor health, learning disabilities), but they also face additional challenges unique to their situations (e.g., disruption of education, poor record-keeping between schools, cultural).
Most school programs (including those supported by Title 1, Part C) are set up on a nine-month academic year. When migrant children move with their families, their education is interrupted, often many times a year. Some may come with large families. Their standard of living is often inadequate. Migrant farmworker families have an average annual income below the poverty level. Poor nutrition, housing, and sanitary conditions may cause a high incidence of health problems. Migrant children may have limited English skills and /or little experience with success at school. These facts, combined with irregular attendance, often lead to frustration and low academic performance, causing many migrant children to drop out in their early teens.
However, migrant children can be helped to enjoy school and overcome these difficulties through the Migrant Education Program. Migrant children can achieve quality education and develop skills and options for the future, increase self-confidence and self-esteem, and contribute to the well-being of communities in which they live.