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"Identification" means to determine the location and presence of migratory children/youth.
"Recruitment" means to contact migrant families, explaining the Migrant Education Program (MEP), securing the necessary information to make a determination that the child/youth is eligible for the MEP and recording the basis of the child's eligibility on a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Upon successful identification of a migrant family, eligible children may be enrolled in the MEP.
Identification and Recruitment (ID&R) means locating and contacting the family in order to ascertain a child’s eligibility for the MEP.
Answer: In Louisiana, there are three situations as follow:
No. Cleaning of race (or pleasure) horse stables is not a qualifying activity because horse racing is not an eligible agricultural activity.
Yes. Seasonal cutting of alfalfa is a qualifying activity because the cutting of the alfalfa is considered an agricultural activity.
Yes. Seasonal cleaning of draft horse stables is a qualifying activity, if the draft horses are used for agricultural purposes on an agriculture or tree farm.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Migrant Education, Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Title I, Part C Education of Migratory Children, Washington, D.C., 2010. (Chapter II, G6-8).
Answer: On the Signatures page of the Louisiana MEP Tablet COE, there are three tabs – Migrant, Staff, and Recertify. When the Recertify tab is selected, several boxes appear to recertify the family for the 2nd and 3rd years of eligibility. This section is to verify if the family is still living in the district after the initial sign-up year. A family has 36 months of eligibility after the QAD date. The migrant funding year runs from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31. You may get the signatures at any time during that period. However, it is best to obtain the signatures as close to Sept. 1 (or anniversary of the family's QAD date) as possible because families are most likely to still be residing in your district. Ask the family or OSY if a more recent qualifying move has been made. If not, have parent, guardian, or OSY sign and date COE. In the presence of the parent, guardian, or OSY, the recruiter signs and dates the box next to their signature. For the third funding year, follow the same protocol.
When the recruiter secures the signature of the parent, guardian, or OSY, and signs the document as well, they will not need to re-submit. When the box is signed the date is automatically filled in. Since the COE has already been approved, it does not need to go through the regular approval process. After a recruiter completes the recertify of the COE, they will do a 'Procedures/Upload Changes' in order to upload the changes to the state server. The family is then recertified for another year.
Answer: “Agricultural work”, as defined by the MEP, is the “production or initial processing of crops, dairy products, poultry, or livestock; as well as the cultivation or harvesting of trees. It consists of work performed for wages or personal subsistence.” [See 34 CFR 200.81(a).] Activities such as keeping the bees alive, pollinating the bees, and splitting the bees into additional colonies are all integral to producing crops such as honey and beeswax, and pollinating fruit and vegetable crops. Therefore, these activities would be considered agricultural work. In order to make a final determination about whether these bee-tending activities are considered “qualifying” work, the State must determine the following:
1. Is the work performed in order to produce a crop or is it performed for recreational purposes? Work that is performed for recreational purposes is not considered “qualifying work.”
2. How long do the workers intend to remain employed? If the workers are employed temporarily or seasonally, then the work would be considered “qualifying work” (assuming that the work is not performed for recreational purposes). But, if the workers are employed permanently, then the work would not be considered “qualifying work”.
Of course, all other eligibility criteria must also be met in order for the workers or their children to qualify (children must be under age 22, they must be eligible for a free public education, etc.).
For purposes of the MEP, assuming the worker meets all program eligibility criteria, work in alligator farms may be considered agricultural work. In the MEP Non-Regulatory Guidance (NRG), Chapter II, Q. G6 and G8, animals that are considered livestock, include what OME considers ‘specialty or alternative livestock’. Alligators may fall under the category of ‘specialty or alternative’ livestock, provided they also meet the guidelines for all livestock:
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Migrant Education, Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Title I, Part C Education of Migratory Children, Washington, D.C., 2010. (Chapter II, G6 and G8).
Filleting alligators as qualifying work, and in the NRG, Chapter II, Q. G20 – G21, OME discusses initial processing. They consider filleting livestock to be an activity that falls within the range of initial processing - in other words, it is beyond the production stage, but transformation of the raw product into something more refined has not yet started. Again, it must be first determined whether the alligators meet the definition of livestock, and then determine whether the specific work meets the definition of initial processing.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Migrant Education, Non-Regulatory Guidance for the Title I, Part C Education of Migratory Children, Washington, D.C., 2010. (Chapter II, G20 and G21).
In Louisiana, alligators are considered “specialty or alternative livestock”. If the worker meets all program eligibility criteria, including following the guidelines of all livestock, the work in alligator farms is considered eligible agricultural work. Because of the nature of the work may be determined to be temporary employment, a comment in the Comments Section of the COE will be required stating the worker does not intend to remain in that employment indefinitely (i.e., the worker’s employment will not last longer than 12 months) or by the employer stating the worker was hired for a limited time frame, not to exceed 12 months.
For purposes of the Louisiana Migrant Education Program (LMEP), crawfish is considered fishing work. According to Questions F16 of the MEP Non-Regulatory Guidance (NRG), fishing work is “the catching or initial processing of fish or shellfish, as well as the raising or harvesting of fish or shellfish at fish farms.”
All qualifying activities listed in MERIL2 involving crawfish fall under the description in F16 of the MEP NRG.
Please refer to Question 58 of the Office of Migrant Education (OME) MEP Policy Questions below. Qualifying work with alligators will be agricultural work since they are considered “specialty livestock.”
All COEs with qualifying activities with alligators should be completed as “agriculture” in section 5b of the eligibility tab in the MERIL2 COE.
Topic(s): Child Eligibility
Subtopic(s): Agricultural Work or Fishing Work
Q. An individual worked at an alligator farm for three months, and his work activity was filleting the alligators. Does the Office of Migrant Education (OME) consider this to be qualifying work for purposes of Migrant Education Program (MEP) eligibility?
Based on the information you provided about the situation, and assuming that the worker meets all other program eligibility criteria, this type of work on an alligator farm could be considered agricultural work for the MEP. In the MEP Non-Regulatory Guidance (NRG), Chapter II, F6, we discuss animals that are considered livestock, including what we consider ‘specialty or alternative livestock’. Alligators may fall under the category of ‘specialty or alternative’ livestock, provided they also meet the guidelines for all livestock:
1. We do not consider livestock to include animals hunted or captured in the wild;
2. We do not consider livestock to include animals raised for sport, recreation, research, service, or pets;
3. The animals must be produced or kept primarily for breeding or slaughter purposes.
You asked specifically about filleting alligators as qualifying work, and in the NRG, Chapter II, F20, we discuss initial processing. We would consider filleting livestock to be an activity that falls within the range of initial processing- in other words, it is beyond the production stage, but transformation of the raw product into something more refined has not yet started. Again, you must first determine whether the alligators meet the definition of livestock, and then determine whether the specific work meets the definition of initial processing.
Answer: This can be a tricky one…Let’s start with the definitions of both seasonal and temporary employment from the MEP Non-Regulatory Guidance (NRG).
G1. What is seasonal employment?
According to 34 C.F.R. § 200.81(o) of the regulations, seasonal employment is employment that occurs only during a certain period of the year because of the cycles of nature and that, by its nature, may not be continuous or carried on throughout the year.
G5. What is temporary employment?
According to 34 C.F.R. § 200.81(p), temporary employment means “employment that lasts for a limited period of time, usually a few months, but no longer than 12 months.”
Question G3 of the NRG is also relevant for this question.
G3. How long may seasonal employment last?
The definition of seasonal employment in 34 C.F.R. § 200.81(o) states that it is employment that occurs only during a certain period of the year and may not be continuous or carried on throughout the year. Therefore, like temporary employment, seasonal employment may not last longer than 12 months.
According to the NRG, both seasonal and temporary employment “must not last longer than 12 months.” Therefore, whenever determining eligibility, we must conclude that the worker’s employment will not last or has not lasted longer than 12 months.
Now, back to the question…Is qualifying work in a nursery considered seasonal or temporary? It depends. As a general rule of thumb, nursery work will be considered temporary work. Since the recruiter needs to determine that the employment lasts less than 12 months regardless if it is seasonal or temporary, they should gather a statement from the worker indicating the temporary status of the worker’s employment. This will make sure the LMEP is documenting the necessary information.
There may be instances, though, when a plant is only grown during a certain time of the year because of the cycles of nature. If this is the case and the recruiter determines the qualifying work to be seasonal, a comment must be included to explain the recruiter’s decision. This comment must be of sufficient basis to explain the recruiter’s rationale for determining that the qualifying work is seasonal.
Please see below for more examples about this question.
For example, many nurseries hire their workers to do many different jobs that may not be dependent on the cycles of nature. For these instances, refer to G7 of the NRG. The recruiter needs to determine that the worker is employed on a temporary basis and will not be employed by the nursery for more than 12 months.
G7. Is a worker who was hired to perform a series of different jobs, which together lead to the worker being employed by the same employer for more than 12 months, employed on a temporary or seasonal basis?
No. Workers who are hired to work for more than 12 months by the same employer, regardless of how many different jobs they perform, are not “engaged in new temporary or seasonal employment” as provided in the definitions of migratory agricultural worker and migratory fisher in section 1309(2) and (4) of the ESEA. See also 34 C.F.R. § 200.81(o) and (p).
For another example, many nurseries grow different plants at different times of the year to correspond with the different holidays seasons. For example, they might grow poinsettias for the Christmas season, roses for Valentine’s day, different flowers for Easter and Mother’s Day, for instance. If the worker is employed during one of these times, the work is not considered seasonal because it is not dependent on the cycles of nature. See question G12 of the guidance.
G12. Should jobs that occur only at certain times of the year because of a holiday or event be considered as temporary employment or seasonal employment?
Jobs that occur only at certain times of the year because of a holiday or event (e.g., Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) should be considered temporary employment because the time of year that the work is performed is not dependent on the cycles of nature, but rather the holiday or event.