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Migrant Students

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NCHE Resources

Migrant Students Experiencing Homelessness: Rights and Services Under the McKinney-Vento Act
This brief, part of NCHE's Law into Practice series, provides information about the federal Migrant Education Program (MEP) and Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program and how they can work together to support the education of migrant students experiencing homelessness.
Download Migrant Students Experiencing Homelessness: Rights and Services Under the McKinney-Vento Act.


Other Resources

ESCORT
ESCORT is a national resource center dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for migrant children. ESCORT maintains the National Migrant Education Hotline and conducts professional and program development activities for SEAS, LEAs, and schools to help improve services to migrant children and other English Language Learners. ESCORT also provides technical and logistical support to the U.S. Office of Migrant Education on a wide variety of interstate coordination activities.
Visit the website.

National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education
The National Association of the State Directors of Migrant Education (NASDME) is the professional organization of state officials charged with the responsibility of using migrant education funds effectively and productively to help all migrant children succeed in school. Visit the NASDME website for information about migrant education, related conferences, and publications.
Visit the website.

The Culture of Migrancy
This ESCORT brief provides valuable insight into the migrant lifestyle, the challenges migrant families face, and the effects of the migrant lifestyle on children of migrant families.
Download the brief.

USDA Interim Rule: Direct Certification and Certification of Homeless, Migrant and Runaway Children for Free School Meals
This interim rule, effective beginning on June 24, 2011, amends the regulations affecting the determination of children's eligibility for free meals under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program by direct certification and categorical eligibility. The rule was open for public comment between April and October 2011, however remains in effect until a final rule is issued.
Download the interim rule.

USDA memoranda on the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004
The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265) expands federal child nutrition programs in several ways to assist homeless, migrant, foster, and runaway children and youth by providing:
  • Automatic eligibility for free school meals
  • Streamlined procedures for documenting eligibility
  • Full school year eligibility for free school meals
  • Federal nutrition funds for shelters that serve children and youth up to age 18
See USDA Memorandum SP 51-2014 (June 19, 2014), which clarifies that LEAs may consider the effective date of eligibility for free school meal or milk benefits for students who are directly certified to be the date on which documentation of eligibility is received, rather than the date on which the documentation is processed.
See USDA Memorandum SP 11-2014 (December 3, 2013), which clarifies the flexibility available to local educational agency (LEA) officials for establishing the effective date of eligibility for children certified for free or reduced price meals in the National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast Programs (SBP) and free milk in the Special Milk Program (SMP) based on household applications.
See USDA Memorandum SP 17-2011 (Revised April 16, 2013), which discusses the categorical eligibility of foster children for free school meals
See USDA Memorandum SP 17-2010 (Jan 29, 2010), which discusses the eligibility of Haitian refugees for USDA child nutrition programs.
See USDA Memorandum SP3 (Jul 7, 2004), which establishes a household's full school year eligibility for free or reduced price meals.
See USDA Memorandum SP4 (Jul 19, 2004), which establishes the categorical eligibility of homeless, migrant, and runaway children and youth, and provides instructions for documenting the eligibility of homeless children and youth served under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
See USDA Categorial Eligibility for Free Lunches and Breakfasts for Migrant Children Memorandum (Aug 16, 2004), which establishes the categorical eligibility of migrant students, provides instructions for documenting migrant students' eligibility, and explains the free meal program's full school year eligibility concept.
See USDA Guidance on Determining Categorical Eligibility for Free Lunches and Breakfasts for Youth Served under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act Memorandum (Sept 17. 2004), which establishes the categorical eligibility of runaway youth served through grant programs established under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, and provides instructions for documenting the eligibility of youth served under the Act.
See Updated Guidance for Homeless Children in the School Nutrition Programs (April 4, 2002), which initially established the guidelines for providing documentation of a student's homeless status for the purpose of receiving free school meals.

U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice: Dear Colleague Letter on Education for Undocumented Students
This May 6, 2011, letter from the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice reiterate the federal government's commitment to ensuring that all children and youth are provided with access to a free, appropriate public education, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. The letter provides examples of acceptable and unacceptable enrollment practices for school districts to employ.
Download the USED/USDOJ Dear Colleague letter.
Download the accompanying USED/USDOJ fact sheet.

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The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. NCHE is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

This website was produced with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, on contract no. ED-01-CO-0092/0001. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education or the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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