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October 2007 Newsletter

In this Issue of the FL Recruiter:

1. 2007 Florida Migrant Education Conference

2. Instructions for Completing the Changes in the 2007 COE

3. ID&R Manual Update

4. Eligibility Issues Discussion

a. Moves from/to Mexico

b. Moves in Order to Seek (Intent)

c. QAD & Residency Date Clarification


1. 2007 Florida Migrant Education Conference

As many of you know, the 2007 Migrant Education Conference was held on October 2-4, 2007, in Orlando, Florida. Approximately 275 migrant educators attended this year's conference. Based on the evaluations, the conference was considered by most to be a huge success. Participants enjoyed the variation of sessions offered, the topics discussed, and the quality of the presentations. More importantly, many expressed the need for continuation of professional training opportunities like this and look forward to next year's conference. On behalf of our state Director, Ms. Carolyn Mathews, the planning committee, and the ID&R Office, we want to thank the attendees for their participation and commitment to the program.


2. Instructions for Completing the Changes in the 2007 COE

By now, every district should have received the 2007-08 COE for use when identifying and recruiting migrant children. Attached are a number of documents explaining these changes, and indicating the recruiters' responsibility when completing the form. These documents are:

  • COE Changes memo - this document discusses each one of the four changes in this year's COE. Recruiters, COE reviewers and program coordinators should review these and ensure that they are properly implemented when completing the COE.
  • When to Write a Comment on the COE - this document, adapted from the Office of Migrant Education's Non-Regulatory Guidance of 2003, indicates when it is necessary to include a comment regarding eligibility in the COE. For Florida's COE, this applies to Item #15.
  • OME FERPA - this document includes the language regarding the Family Rights and Educational Rights included in the Office of Migrant Education's Non-Regulatory Guidance of 2003. Based on this information, the Florida ID&R Office feels confident that recruiters' duties regarding FERPA are covered by the parent statement in the COE. Reading the statement, and the parent's, guardian's, or worker's (in the case of qualifying youth traveling on their own) subsequent signature will comply with the FERPA requirements.
  • COE Statement in Spanish - this document has a Spanish translation of the parent statement. This translation involved migrant staff in different districts around the state. In addition, the ID&R Office will appreciate any assistance provided in the translation of the parent statement to Creole, Vietnamese, and any other language spoken by our migrant population. Please contact us at 866-963-6677 or via email (fl-idr-office@escmail.org) if able to help.

Please use these documents to clarify any questions or doubts regarding changes in the COE for this year. If you have additional questions, please contact our office. Finally, many people have asked if there is a need to go back and complete the new COE for already identified families in this school year. That is not necessary. However, it has been suggested that districts document the date when recruiters began using the 2007-08 COE. Any district not using the new COE, or who has not received their copies by now, should contact our office.


3. ID&R Manual Update

Plans are under way to release the 2007 ID&R Manual. While we continue to receive updates on eligibility questions, and receive new guidance from the Office of Migrant Education, it has been decided that the best thing to do at this time is to share the latest version of the manual. While changes may arise everyday, it is very important that a document is provided to practitioners which will facilitate the job of recruiters in making proper and accurate eligibility determinations. The 2007 ID&R Manual will be disseminated via this listserv in a pdf format. In addition, we will place the file on a website, yet to be determined, with all the other documents (power points, policy determinations, etc.) produced by the ID&R Office. The release date will be December 1, 2007.


4. Eligibility Issues Discussion

The ID&R Office has recently received many questions regarding issues discussed at the Orlando Conference, via the Migrant Coordinators Teleconference, and via email. These issues are discussed below.

a. Moves from/to Mexico

Many questions received via email are asking for clarification on moves from/to Mexico, particularly first time moves. According to the 2003 Non-Regulatory Guidance from OME:

Is a move to the United States from Mexico or Canada considered differently than a move within the United States?

No. A move from Mexico or Canada to a school district in the U.S. is considered the same as a move from one school district to another within the U.S. The reason for this is that there is historical pattern of migration from Mexico and Canada to the U.S. to perform temporary or seasonal work in agriculture.

May a move from a school district in the United States to a school district in Mexico or Canada qualify?

No. Such a move does not qualify because it is not a move to a school district within the United States. The MEP is meant to benefit families who perform qualifying work in the United States. Therefore, moves to Mexico or Canada to engage in temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing activities do not qualify.

Based on this information, the FL ID&R Office wants to emphasize that moves from Mexico are considered qualifying moves, as long as all the other eligibility criteria are met. Moves to Mexico are not eligible. Regarding first time moves, the ID&R office will like to present the following scenario: Raul Perez and his family move from Michoacan, MX, to Dover, FL, to work picking strawberries this season. They have 3 children (6, 9, 12). This is the first time the move. Working in the strawberry harvest is their only employment. Once the season is over, they plan to "follow the harvest" to other states.

STAMP Criteria Notes
School Completion - child has not graduated from high school; has not obtained a GED Criteria is met - "school age children"
Time of move - child and worker moved within last 36 months Criteria is met - "moved "this season"
Age - child is younger than 22 years of age Criteria is met - children are 6, 9 & 12
Move across school district lines - child and worker moved across district lines Criteria is met - moved from Michoacan, MX to Dover, FL
Purpose - in order to seek or obtain qualifying work Criteria is met - but additional probing questions are needed
Agricultural/Fishing - "directly related" Criteria is met - picking strawberries
Temporary/Seasonal Criteria is met - seasonal employment
Principal Means of Livelihood Criteria is met

Based on the information provided, the ID&R Office will consider that this family made a qualifying move, and that they are eligible for the program.

b. Moves in Order to Seek (Intent)

Based on the guidance provided by OME, a worker and his/her family may move "in order to seek or obtain" qualifying work. As most recruiters know, families move with the intent to obtain work, but, for reasons beyond their control, they are unable to secure the qualifying employment that was sought. When interviewing families who moved with the intent, recruiters must use sound and reasonable judgment to determine whether the particular facts and circumstances support a determination that the worker moved with this intent (OME Non-Regulatory Guidance, 2003). Recruiters must ask probing questions that will assist them in collecting the information necessary to make a proper eligibility determination. When completing the COE, the recruiter must mark the "Seek" box in the COE (see instructions above) and document in the comments section the facts and circumstances (i.e., work/housing was not available, moved before the work was available to secure housing, etc.) that support their determination that the worker moved with the intent but was unable to obtain qualifying employment.

c. QAD & Residency Date Clarification

Many questions have been posed regarding how to correctly enter qualifying arrival date (QAD) and residency date. Often, the QAD and the residency date are the same:

  • Moved "with" - The worker and the child moved at the same in order to seek or obtain qualifying work. The QAD and the residency date are the same.
  • Moved "to join" the worker - The worker moved first, and the child moved to join the worker to the place where qualifying employment was sought or obtained. The qualifying arrival date and the residency date are the same - the date the child arrived in the district.
  • Moved "to join" the child - The child moved first, and the worker moved to join the child to a place where qualifying employment was sought or obtained. The qualifying arrival date and the residency date are the same - the date the worker arrived in the district. The reason for this is that a move is not considered complete until the worker and the child are together in the place where qualifying employment was sought or obtained. Only when both worker and child are together is when the move is considered to be complete. When the move is not complete (worker or child are missing), the child is not considered migrant (for the purposes of the MEP) based on the current move.

Based on this information, most cases will appear to have QADs and residency dates that are the same. However, there is one exception - when the eligibility determination is being made based on a prior qualifying move. In such situations, the QAD is when the worker and the child completed the previous qualifying move; the residency date is when the child arrives at the current district.

In sum:

  • The QAD and the Residency Date can be the same.
  • The QAD can be before the Residency Date when an eligibility determination is based on a prior qualifying move.
  • The Residency Date can never, ever be before the QAD.

This issue appears to be the cause of many headaches f or data entry specialists at the district level, particularly when dealing with "to join" moves where children move before the workers. The ID&R Office will share any idea from the field on how to make life easier for data entry personnel and MIS office at the districts.


Finally, the ID&R Office presented information regarding Florida's recruitment efforts at the recent National ID&R Forum in Kansas City. The information was well received by participants, particularly recruiters from Orange and Palm Beach counties who attended the session. They were very supportive, and this is greatly appreciated.

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