Finding and enrolling eligible migrant children is a cornerstone of the Georgia MEP and its importance cannot be overemphasized. Identification and recruitment are critical activities because:
The children who are most in need of program services are often those who are the most difficult to find.
Many migrant children would not fully benefit from school, and in some cases would not attend school at all, if the state did not identify and recruit them into the MEP. This is particularly true of the most mobile migrant children who may be more difficult to identify than those who have settled in a community.
Children cannot receive MEP services without a record of eligibility.
Children are eligible to receive MEP services in Georgia if they meet the definition of “migratory child” and if the basis for their eligibility is properly recorded on a hand-written certificate of eligibility (COE) form, approved through a rigorous review process, and then registered as an electronic COE in the program's database. The term "migratory child" is defined in section 1309(2) of the statute and section 200.81(d) of the regulations. Determining whether a child meets this definition is often difficult and depends on a recruiter's assessment of information presented by a parent or other family member, guardian, or other individual(s) responsible for the child during the interview process.
The Georgia Department of Education has undertaken important initiatives to ensure accuracy and accountability in its efforts to establish migrant child eligibility. The following links are provided to inform all interested parties about the state’s identification and recruitment policies and procedures:
Identification & Recruitment / Data Collections Handbook
Georgia MEP Agricultural Activities Map