Students who are the children of migratory or seasonal farmworkers or are migratory or seasonal farmworkers themselves
Why it matters
Migratory children frequently change schools and districts, forcing them to contend with varied curricula and school processes and limiting their ability to develop support systems and sustained social connections. The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs estimates there are approximately half a million child farmworkers in the United States, and estimates of graduation rates for migrant students are approximately 45 to 50 percent, well below the national average. In high school, college outreach programs do not consistently reach students from migrant households, which negatively impacts their likelihood of applying for and enrolling in postsecondary education.
What to know about measurement
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a migratory child is defined as “a child or youth who made a qualifying move in the preceding 36 months—(A) as a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher; or (B) with, or to join, a parent or spouse who is a migratory agricultural worker or a migratory fisher.” Migratory children may receive support from federally funded pre-K programs such as Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and the Migrant Education Program in K–12. Although migrant students can be difficult to track, the U.S. Department of Education’s Migrant Student Records Exchange Initiative provides a data infrastructure to track and manage records for students who move frequently and have data records in more than one state. At the postsecondary level, first-year undergraduate students who are the children of migratory or seasonal farmworkers or are migratory or seasonal farmworkers themselves can receive support through the federal College Assistance Migrant Program.
This disaggregate appeared in three source frameworks reviewed for this report: the Urban Institute Robust and Equitable Measures to Identify Quality Schools (REMIQS) framework, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act reporting guidelines, and the California Cradle-to-Career Data System.
The framework's recommendations are based on syntheses of existing research. Please see the framework report for a list of works cited.