New Jersey Department of Education

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New Jersey Migrant Education Program

Migrant Education Program Overview & History

The Migrant Education Program (MEP) is a federally funded program, authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Established in 1966 as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Migrant Education Program became the vehicle for providing educational services to the children of the nation's migratory farm workers. For the first time in history, Congress and the nation recognized these children had special educational needs as a result of their mobile lifestyles, the short spans of instruction they received in the classroom, the discontinuity of instruction between states, and their lack of "belonging" to any one particular school. To lessen the impact of these unique variables, the Migrant Education Program was developed to ensure that migrant students:

  • Receive appropriate instructional and support services that comprehensively and efficiently address their unique and specialized needs;
  • Receive services that help reduce the educational disruptions and other problems that result from repeated moves;
  • Overcome the challenges of mobility, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, and other factors associated with a migratory life, in order to succeed in school, and to successfully transition to postsecondary education or employment;
  • Are not penalized by disparities among the states in curriculum, graduation requirements, and state academic content and student academic achievement standards;
  • Receive full and appropriate opportunities to meet state content and student performance standards that all children are expected to meet; and
  • Benefit from state and local systemic reform.