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Migrant Education", Inecuality in Educa'ion, Center for Law and Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Tia ss achusetts, June 1976
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Thank you very much for the opportunity to submit testimony for your October 12 committee hearing on the Title I migrant education program.
The funds provided by Title I for migrant education have had a major impact on the improvement of educational opportunities for migrant children. Interstate coordination of services vastly improved instruction, the transfer record system, inservice education, and the increased awareness of the needs of migrant children are but a few examples of the positive effects of this program.
Prior to the inception of federal funds, Ohio schools were enrolling 1,200 migrant students annually. In FY 77, Ohio's migrant student enrollment exceeded 5,500 -- in spite of the decreased farm acreage and diminishing numbers of farm workers.
It is our judgment that the current legislation and regulations are working well and that no major changes are necessary. It is important for Congress to continue to stress as clearly as possible the need to further improve linkage among the various state programs. The ultimate priority for migrant children must be continuity of instruction and services that allow them to progress through school with an equal opportunity to graduate and to make the career choices that are available to all other students.
It is recognized that recommendations will be made to the committee to ratably reduce the migrant education program to fund it on an equal basis with the regular Title I program.
For the receiving states such as Ohio who serve the interstate child in the summer time, such a move would create an impossible situation for the schools. The net effect would be at a minimum, a 75% reduction in the program.
It must be remembered that a total school program is provided in the summer which includes not only instruction, but transportation, support services such as food, health, maintenance, the operation of the transfer record system, student recruitment, and inservice education. The ratably reduced amount per child for Title I will not support an interstate migrant education program. The interstate child needs and deserves full funding.
An alternative that the Committee may wish to consider would be full funding of the interstate child and regular Title I funding for the homebase child who does not move across the state lines. Such a change would protect the interstate child, the student for whom the legislation was primarily intended.