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Participation of Migrant Students in Title I Migrant Education Program (MEP) Summer-Term Projects, 1998
NCES: 2000061
February 2000

Types and Characteristics of Summer-Term Projects

This chapter provides an overview of MEP summer-term projects in 1998. 4 It reports on the number and characteristics of these projects (e.g., enrollment size), the number of students served by the projects, and types of technical assistance that projects received from their state. Because California and Texas account for the largest concentration of migrant students (U.S. Department of Education 1998), project characteristics are discussed separately for these states.

Projects and Students

About 1,700 MEP summer-term projects operated during 1998 (Table 2). Consistent with the program's objective to address the educational needs of migrant students, MEP summer-term projects provided a variety of instructional and support services for about 262,000 students in 1998. The projects operated an average of 6 weeks during 1998 (not shown in tables); they typically began in June (69 percent) or July (21 percent) and ran through July (50 percent) or August (40 percent).

Most MEP summer-term projects operating in 1998 were small; 58 percent of the projects had student enrollments of less than 100 (Table 2). Similarly, projects were more likely to be located in rural than suburban communities (54 versus 36 percent), and least likely to be found in urban communities (11 percent). In addition, MEP summer-term projects were more likely to serve students of all ages than only elementary-age students (63 versus 34 percent).

MEP summer-term students were similarly distributed by project characteristics (Table 2). About 13 percent of MEP summer-term students were served by projects with enrollments of less than 100, another 22 percent were in projects with enrollments between 100 and 250, while the majority of students (about two-thirds) were enrolled in large projects with over 250 students. In addition, most of the students were enrolled in projects that served students of all ages compared with projects that served only elementary-age students (79 versus 19 percent). Further, close to one-third of the students were enrolled in rural projects, 40 percent were enrolled in suburban projects, and 26 percent in urban projects.

To identify where 1998 MEP summer-term students came from, projects were asked to estimate the percentage of students they enrolled who spent their 1997-1998 regular terms primarily at various MEP projects. About three-fourths of migrant students served during the summer of 1998 were enrolled in the school district for at least part of the 1997-1998 school year (Figure 1 and Table B-1). Because migrant students might actually move into school districts and register in MEP projects prior to the end of the regular school term, this item includes students who have experienced relocation before the end of the regular school session. In addition, it includes migrant students who remain eligible for services up to 3 years after their families "settle out," that is, change to a nonmigratory lifestyle. In contrast, fewer students came from schools or projects outside of the school district. Eight percent of migrant students came from another MEP summer-term project from which students were received previously, and another 8 percent were enrolled in the MEP project for the first time. In addition, 2 percent of the students came from a MEP that had not previously sent students, and 1998 MEP summer-term projects did not know where 6 percent of their students had attended school during the regular term.

MEP summer-term projects were also asked whether there were any non-MEP-funded summer programs provided by their district, or districts in their service area, in which migrant students could participate in 1998. About three-fourths of the projects indicated there were non-MEP-funded programs in their service area (Table B-2). MEP projects in rural areas were less likely than those in urban and suburban areas to report that nonfunded programs were available for migrant students (69 percent versus 82 and 84 percent, respectively).

Technical and Other Assistance to Projects

States hold primary responsibility for ensuring that appropriate MEP services are made available to migrant students enrolled in the project. Therefore, in addition to allocating federal funds for MEP projects, states may provide various forms of technical assistance.

MEP summer-term projects were asked to identify various types of technical services that states provided to the project (tables 3 and B-4). A majority of projects indicated that their state provided technical assistance in identifying and recruiting eligible migrant students (74 percent), preparing MEP program applications (68 percent), preparing annual MEP reports (62 percent), planning support services (60 percent), and planning or conducting a needs assessment (58 percent). About half of MEP projects indicated that technical assistance was received from states in planning instructional services, fiscal planning, and providing instruction to the staff. In addition, 39 percent of the projects indicated that states assisted in staffing the project.

MEP summer-term projects were also asked about their budgets, but the data are not reported because of concerns about the reliability of the responses. Some respondents reported difficulties in determining how the MEP summer-term projects were budgeted. For instance, they indicated that MEP funds were not always allocated to districts, and funds for MEP summer-term projects may be part of a larger allocation to several districts, region(s) within the state, or county(ies). Other respondents reported that they could not separate the summer-term budget from the total MEP funds allocated to the district because they either did not have the information or the budget did not cover a summer-term project.

MEP Summer-Term Projects in Selected States

Consistent with patterns found in past studies (U.S. Department of Education 1998), a large number of MEP summer-term projects operating in 1998 were located in California and Texas (Figure 2). Twenty-one percent of MEP summerterm projects were located in California, accounting for 41 percent of the students served by the project. In addition, 10 percent of the projects, serving 14 percent of the students, were located in Texas. Together, these two states accounted for about one-third of MEP summer-term projects and about half of MEP students served in the summer of 1998.

Overall, projects were provided various technical services for their MEP activities. For 5 of the 8 services-identifying or recruiting eligible students, preparing MEP application, preparing annual MEP report, planning instructional services, and providing instruction to the staff- projects located in California were less likely than those in Texas to report that they received various types of technical assistance from their state (Table 4 and Table B-4). For example, half of the projects located in California, compared with about threefourths in Texas and other states, indicated that their state provided assistance in the preparation of MEP applications. Similarly, 71 percent of MEP summer-term projects in Texas were provided services in identifying and recruiting eligible students versus 56 percent of projects in California and 80 percent in other states.

4MEP summer-term projects use program funds to provide instructional and/or support services to migrant students during the summer.