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November 2007 Newsletter

In this issue:

  1. Florida ID&R Manual Update
  2. Eligibility Policy Update
    • Economic Necessity
    • Workers who pick leftover harvests
  3. Site Visits
  4. Qualifying Activities Chart and Timeline

 

1. Florida ID&R Manual Update

The print ready copy of the manual has been completed and will be sent electronically via email to all districts next week. Please review and provide us with comments and feedback. Practitioners will have until January 9, 2008 to review and provide feedback and comments, as required by the Florida Department of Education guidelines. Instructions on how and to whom you will need to submit the feedback will accompany the document. Having said that, the ID&R office is confident that the document has the necessary information to assist recruiters in Florida to make proper eligibility determinations when interviewing potentially eligible migrant families. If you have any questions, please contact our office.


 

2. Eligibility Policy Update

At the 2006 ID&R Training in Orlando, one of the concepts discussed was the phrase "economic necessity" when referring to reasons why worker (and his/her family) may leave an area after a season. Our office contacted the Office of Migrant Education asking if the concept could be used as policy when making eligibility determinations. This is OME's response:

"The Office of Migrant Education (OME) presented the language you refer to as part of a "For Discussion Purposes Only" presentation to the Directors as a means of sharing the Office's thoughts on proposed changes to the draft Non-Regulatory Guidance issued on October 23, 2003. The phrase "economic necessity" was used as part of an example to illustrate what constitutes a "change in residence" for the purposes of defining "qualifying move" and subsequently determining child eligibility for the Migrant Education Program (MEP). The situation you describe is one in which workers move, out of "economic necessity", from the U.S. to another country and then return to the U.S. to find qualifying work. If Florida finds it useful to determine a qualifying move based on the worker leaving the U.S. out of economic necessity (e.g., the worker's job in the U.S. ended, so the worker moves to Mexico where living expenses are lower), and returning to obtain qualifying work, OME believes that this is a reasonable policy. Please note, the worker (and his/her family) would still have to meet all MEP eligibility criteria in order to be enrolled in the program."
(Alex Goniprow, Director, OME)

Based on the information provided by OME, Florida recruiters may use information regarding "economic necessity" when describing the need of a family to leave the area once work is completed and then return when work becomes available again . However, "economic necessity" alone does not constitute a qualifying move or qualifying activity. The concept applies to families who leave the area and return when work becomes available and is not intended to be used with families who arrive for the first time into your district. Finally, "economic necessity" does not apply to families who are returning from a vacation, holiday, visiting sick relatives, etc. Such moves do not meet the definition of a qualifying move. Workers who pick leftover harvests. During the 2007 FL Migrant Education Conference in Orlando, our office was asked a question regarding the eligibility of individuals who move across district lines to pick leftover crops after the season has ended. In order to address this question, our office did some research on this topic by contacting other districts and states, and, finally, sending the information to OME. According to different sources, these individuals who pick leftover crops are referred to differently, and are known in different states as: "pinteros", "pin-hookers", gleaners and scavengers. Regardless of how they are identified, though, these individuals generally perform the same work - picking leftover crops. The response from the Office of Migrant Education is included below:

"Based on the information you presented, these workers may be engaged in qualifying work, depending on the type of work they perform. Picking leftover crops may qualify for purposes of determining eligibility for the MEP if the work is temporary or seasonal, is not performed on a constant year-round basis, and is a principal means of livelihood (PMOL). However, there are two caveats: 1) if the farmer charges the workers a fee to pick the leftover crops, there has been an initial commercial sale of the product and any work that occurs after the sale would not qualify (see 34 CFR 200.81(a)); and 2) if this line of work provides constant year-round employment for an individual (e.g., the individual owns a truck and hires workers to help him pick leftover crops on a year-round basis), the work could not be considered temporary and would not qualify. Please also note that the children of these workers (or the worker himself if the child is the worker) would need to meet all of the other eligibility criteria of a "migratory child" to be eligible for the MEP."
(Lori Ahamady, OME)

From this information, it appears that workers who pick leftover crops (or "gleaners", as OME refers to them) are performing qualifying activities and are eligible for the program as long as all other eligibility factors (STAMP) are met, up to the point of an initial commercial sale. Based on the information provided to the ID&R Office during the conference, there are two main scenarios.

Scenario Answer
Worker (and children) travel across district lines to pick leftover crops, takes the produce and sells it on the side of the road or at a flea market then shares in the profit with the grower. Any work that occurs after the sharing of the profit (initial commercial sale) does not qualify. The children (and the worker him or herself if the child is the worker) are eligible to the program (as long as all other STAMP conditions have been met) up to this point.
Worker (and children) travel across district lines, pay a fee to the farmer to pick crops, and then pick leftover crops. Any work that occurs after the fee has been paid to the farmer (initial commercial sale) does not qualify. The children (and the worker him or herself if the child is the worker) are not eligible to the program because an initial commercial sale occurred before any work was performed.

As indicated before, our office heard multiple scenarios regarding this issue. Please review this information and, if there are any concerns, or if there is any additional information not discussed in the scenarios, please contact our office (866-963-6677, or via email fl-idr-office@escmail.org).


 

3. Site Visits

Staff from the ID&R Office is still conducting visits to many districts around the state. Please contact our office if your district is sponsoring any recruitment activities that could serve as a learning experience.


 

4. Qualifying Activities Chart and Timeline

Enclosed find a form to be used to list the major qualifying activities in your district. This information will be very valuable as plans are made for future training. The form is a word document, and it currently includes a sample. Please complete the form as accurately as possible. If you have any questions, please contact the ID&R Office.

Click on the link to view the document.

Qualifying Activities by County Form

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