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school requests certain actions to be performed on a student's record, such as enrollment data, skills attained or mastered, health problems such as chronic and urgent conditions, inoculations, withdrawal date, date of graduation and date of death.

The school may also request that a student's record be terminated.

The computer accepts data and requests from the terminal, then processes, stores and disseminates information according to these requests.

We offer rapid turn-around service to the schools. This rapid service reduces the loss of time in planning health and academic programs for migrant children.

Two basic reports are provided a school upon the enrollment of a migrant student.

The first report is returned to the terminal that serves the requesting school in a matter of a few hours. This report is called the Critical Data Report, which contains the following information from previous schools of enrollment: one, student identification; two, grade level; three, skills attained; four, chronic conditions; five, inoculations; six, reading ability ratings; and, seven, math concepts ratings.

The Critical Data responses, both health and academic, are sent by mail to the enrolling school.

We have documented evidence that this quick turn-around can be done in a short period of time, since we have a postal card survey that is conducted periodically on all records mailed on any given day.

When a transaction comes in to the system, a record is printed that night and mailed the next day, so rapid and quick turn-around is accessible by any enrolling child.

The students heretofore were most likely gone before any record ever arrived, but MSRTS is changing that attitude by providing pertinent data on a rapid basis.

As recently as three years ago the MSRTS staff heard very little concern being expressed by the States for any accommodations in MSRTS for high school credit. Now it has become very important for MSRTS to serve the total migrant population from early childhood to postsecondary. Too, it has been noted that a large number of identified students in the data base have reached the age and are presently participating in high school courses. In fact, there are approximately 113,376 such children. This was almost unheard of just five short years ago.

This past February, 1976, until September 20th of this year, we graduated through that system 5,242 students. We do believe that migrant education, the migrant student record transfer system being a part of migrant education, is helping to graduate and does have holding power for these children.

In addition to the speed capability of MSRTS, another important feature is flexibility for change. The records have undergone several changes since the inception to assure maximum data utilization at the school level. The records are presently undergoing some changes, as dictated by the work of those committees which you have just recently heard. Records have invaluable data. The changes being implemented will allow teachers to establish a complete profile on these students in the academic areas of math, reading, early childhood and oral language skills.

The MSRTS, as you very well know, is being operated by the State Education Department in Arkansas under the direction of the State Director and the U.S. Office of Education. Good programming, planning and management practices dictate that directors and U.S. OE personnel have a thorough undersanding of reports produced by MSŘTS. To this end, MSRTS provides summary data on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis to the State directors of migrant education and the U.S. Office of Education.

The data which Mr. Rivera spoke to a moment ago has been taken from those reports.

What are some of the benefits other than reports and pertinent data that I have just spoken of? There are a number of things that we take pride in, and we refer to this as immediate and proper placement and care of the child. It also encourages more attention to be given to program development. It also encourages positive attitudinal changes toward problems and needs of migrant children. It also provides one agency responsible for accumulation, storage and dissemination of this pertinent data. It also provides data for establishing empirical methods of distributing funds, as has alrady been spoken of.

What are the safeguards in MSRTS? I think it is very appropriate that we make mention of the safeguard that was first attacked in 1968. We today take pride in safeguarding information put into the MSRTS system. No personally identifiable data are ever released to anyone other than the school where the child is enrolled. A copy of both the health and the academic record is to be given to the student, if possible, to be checked for accuracy upon his leaving school or upon his enrolling at the other school.

The designers of this automated system were very mindful to design and develop a total system that would assure privacy of the migrant students' data.

The system as it was designed has met all standards as established by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights chaired by Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina. It has been established by the Office of Privacy that this system is not a Federal system of records, however.

I would also like to mention the potential that MSRTS has for providing detailed data to school personnel and also to management functions that I have previously spoken of.

Presently, through P.L. 93-380, the Commissioner of Education is using statistics made available by the Migrant Student Record Transfer System. Through the use of statistics that are made available by the MSRTS, the States are encouraged to recruit and identify the eligible migrant children as quickly as possible, which enables their State to accumulate the much needed funds to serve migrant children. These funds placed in the State where the children are provide State directors and State educational departments the means by which to attack the great problems that face migrant children.


Mr. Rivera has also referred to the FTE data that are given to each State, one FTE being 365 days, but I must say to you that not one child gets 365 days in any given State unless he is a five-year migrant, and in some cases this is not even the case because he is either withdrawn, either graduates or many other things; he has asked to be taken out of the system or he becomes 18 years of age or

So, therefore, there are very few children in the system that receive a full 365 days, or one FTE, but it usually takes approximately two children to make that one FTE.

It becomes readily apparent that increases in schools and students with no increases in allocations or an apparent reduction in funds will create a dilemma in migrant program operations. With a continuous increase in student enrollments, any reduction in funds would geometrically dilute available per pupil funds.

It was also anticipated that student enrollment would level off by the end of 1972, and Mr. Perkins asked a question a moment ago that I would like to address. The monthly rate of growth up to that time, 1972, was approximately 9,600. After P.L. 93-380 was put into effect, the system has grown to 519,363 up to September, 1977.

Mr. FORD. Would you stop there?
Mr. MILLER. Yes, sir.
Mr. FORD. I saw that chart and you just raised a good point.

Are we talking about number of children or are we talking about a figure that can be multiplied by some factor to determine the cost?

Mr. MILLER. We are talking about number of children, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. FORD. So presumably we are talking about half that many full time equivalent students?

Mr. MILLER. Yes, sir; that is right. If you will notice, if you will turn to Attachment A, from 1976 up to the present time this has leveled off, and in all probability I do not foresee a sizable growth in the program in relation to the number of children that are being recruited because with our holding power that we do have in the system, 113,000 being in high school, we are going to graduate about as many children as we recruit and get into the system.

Mr. FORD. But earlier in your statement you indicate that based on present projections we could be talking about 750,000 children. What I wanted to get clear is that your chart talks about children and not full time equivalent students?

Mr. MILLER. Yes, sir.

Mr. FORD. I can see several figures floating around here and we don't want anybody citing with the wrong figures.

Mr. MILLER. That is exactly right. This is children. So the growth has leveled off and I think will continue to level off. It is most important that schools that serve migrant children and that have a special school program for migrant children have the necessary funds to provide the necessary services for these children.

I would make, Mr. Chairman, five recommendations that I think are most crucial to any new legislation:

One, I recommend that the migrant student needs in reading, math, oral language, early childhood and career education be explicitly defined in terms of skill lists developed by migrant education State directors and that these needs receive priority attention.

Two, I further recommend that any reference to coordination of programs should be clearly spelled out and say that any and all programs will be coordinated where feasible through the Migrant Student Record Transfer System. There is a strong need to change the wordings in the future to say not only part B of Title III but that coordination will take place where all migrtants are being served.

Three, I further recommend that preschool and early childhood needs be met of migrant children from the ages of three years upward. There are numerous data resulting from the migrant program to support this recommendation.

Four, I further recommend that the word "area" for serving of migrant children be clarified and defined as to the “State”, since it is a State-operated program. There are othes who believe differently.

Five, I further recommend, and which I believe to be the most important one for the planning and for the Office of Education and for the State directors, that any future language relative to the use of statistics of the MSRTS by the Commissioner should be changed to say that the Commissioner shall use the statistics and other available data of the MSRTS to make allocations to the States and also make determination as to the needs of migrant children nationally, since there is an abundance and wealth of information in the system that should be used for that purpose.

I thank you.
[Prepared statement of Mr. Miller follows:]






Winford M. Miller
MSRTS Director

October 12, 1977


Migratory children of migratory agricultural workers or migratory

fishermen who have moved from one school district to another during the

past year with parents or guardians who were seeking or acquiring employ

ment in agriculture or fishing activities including all related food

processing activities.


The rapidity with which many children of migratory farm workers or

migratory fishermen move during school terms has been accompanied by the

problem of many schools receiving health and academic records after the

children had already moved on, thus ineffectuating the usefulness of the


Many persons have recognized this problem for many years.


efforts to establish a record transferal system date back to the 1940's.

However, not until the passage of 89-750 as an amendment to 89-10 in

1966 was there a unified effort in this country to accumulate and distribute

pertinent academic and health data on migratory children.

It became

obvious that neither an individual state nor a region of states could,

upon self-initiative, make and sustain an adequate system of transferring

student data.

It had to be a NATIONAL effort.

In 1966 Congress

demonstrated its recognition of the interstate nature of farm migrancy

by mandating in P.L. 89-750 Section 103 (C) (1) (A):

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