Skip to content



What is migrant service coordination and why is it important?



What is meant by “service”? 

According to the Non-Regulatory Guidance, MEP “services” are a subset of all the activities that the MEP provides through its program and projects. Although the SEA and local operating agencies may spend MEP funds on many types of allowable activities, some of these activities do not constitute a “service” (e.g., identification and recruitment or parental involvement activities). “Services” are distinct in that they are the educational or educationally related activities provided to migratory children to enable them to succeed in school. Because student success is the overarching goal of the MEP, services are a vital aspect of the program. 3

NOTE: In providing migrant-funded services, it is required that the needs of migratory PFS students are addressed before those of other migratory students.

MEP funds may be used to provide a service when the same kind of service is not available from other funding sources.

There are two types of services MEP funds may support:

  • Instructional services (e.g., educational activities for preschool-age children and instruction in elementary and secondary schools, such as tutoring before and after school); and
  • Support services (e.g., educationally related activities, such as advocacy for migrant children; health, nutrition, and social services for migrant families; necessary educational supplies; transportation; etc.) 4

NOTE: Migrant services must be supplemental. For more information on the difference between supplementing and supplanting, visit the TEA website.

What is meant by “coordination”? 

The term “coordination” refers to different yet related aspects of the MEP. These aspects include:

  • Planning and carrying out programs and projects in coordination with other local, State, and Federal programs, such as Title I - Part A, Title III, and Special Education and/or Section 504 if they qualify for those programs;
  • Interstate and intrastate coordination between States and local operating agencies to ensure the continuity of services for children who migrate from one State or school district to another, including but not limited to, the transfer of student records; and
  • Grants or contracts provided under section 1308 to improve coordination activities among educational programs that serve migrant children. 5

Why is migrant service coordination important? 

In addition, the Non-Regulatory Guidance of ESSA Sections 1304(b) and 1306(a) require SEAs to

“Identify and address the special educational needs of migrant children by providing them a full range of services from appropriate local, State, and Federal educational programs. In providing these services, SEAs must plan jointly with local, State, and Federal programs and must integrate the MEP with services provided by other programs. By coordinating with other programs, SEAs ensure that the needs of migrant children are met through a variety of sources in a way that leverages other program funds and optimizes the use of MEP funds for the unique needs of migrant children. The SEA must determine the children’s needs and identify all the available services that address these needs. The SEA should then coordinate with those programs and agencies that provide services that meet the identified needs and help ensure that migrant children have access to appropriate programs and services.” 6

The ESSA Consolidated Federal Grant Application Program Guidelines additionally provide guidance on how MEP funds may be used to ensure the coordination of activities with other agencies, both within the state and with other states nationwide, as long as they are supplemental. 7

Migratory parents, as vital MEP stakeholders, were surveyed by the Texas Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) Committee during the 2015-16 Statewide CNA process and they determined that migrant service coordination was an integral part of the MEP program. Following are some of the essential needs that migrant parents addressed in the survey in order of importance. The percentages of all migrant parents surveyed that expressed the particular need are also included: 

  • School supplies for their children (57%)
  • Clothing for their children and family (40%)
  • Dental, vision, and health care services (28%)
  • School and community resources (24%)
  • Parenting education programs (18%)
  • Information about children’s health issues (18%)
  • Family literacy and language instruction (17%) 8

In compiling all of the data collected to determine the most important needs, the CNA committee concluded there was a tremendous need to coordinate resources and services for migratory students and families under three of the MEP Seven Areas of Concern, “#5-Education Support in the Home,” “#6-Health,” and “#7-Access to Services.” 9


3 U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Migrant Education, Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Title I, Part C Education of Migratory Children, Washington, D. C., last modied March 2017, p. 53.
4 U.S. Department of Education, O ce of Elementary and Secondary Education, O ce of Migrant Education, Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Title I, Part C Education of Migratory Children, Washington, D. C., last modi ed March 2017, p. 54.
5 U.S. Department of Education, O ce of Elementary and Secondary Education, O ce of Migrant Education, Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Title I, Part C Education of Migratory Children, Washington, D. C., last modi ed March 2017, p. 70.
6 U.S. Department of Education, O ce of Elementary and Secondary Education, O ce of Migrant Education, Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Title I, Part C Education of Migratory Children, Washington, D. C., last modi ed March 2017, p. 70.
7 Texas Education Agency, “Program Guidelines-2020-2021 ESSA Consolidated Federal Grant Application” (Texas Education Agency, Austin, Texas: Texas Education Agency, 2020), http://castro.tea.state.tx.us/eGrants/20-21/21610101/ESSAproguidefinal.pdf, p. 22.
8 Texas Education Agency, Texas Migrant Education Program Comprehensive Needs Assessment Report (Austin, Texas: Texas Education Agency, 2016) https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/CNA%20Report%20FINAL%20-%20061616%20ADA.pdf, p. 58.
9 Texas Education Agency, Texas Migrant Education Program Comprehensive Needs Assessment Report (Austin, Texas: Texas Education Agency, 2016) https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/CNA%20Report%20FINAL%20-%20061616%20ADA.pdf, p. 58.