Delaware Public Media

Migrant students stay in Delaware, enroll in First State schools

Aug 31, 2017

A summer school program for migrant children has wrapped up. But many migrant students are staying this fall – and enrolling in First State districts.

The federally-funded Migrant Education Program provides extra educational support and resources to children who come to Delaware with their parents, for the most part, on a temporary basis.

The bulk of support the program provides takes place in the summer through two seven-week-long summer school programs run by the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware.

The program’s main goal is "to help ensure that migrant children who move among states are not penalized in any manner by disparities among states in curriculum, graduation requirements or state academic content or academic services," said Chief Academic Officer for Delaware’s Department of Education Michael Watson.

He says the program averages 300 children a year, who accompany parents employed in seasonal agriculture, poultry, dairy, food processing or fishing jobs.

But Watson says many of those children end up staying in Delaware longer, and enrolling in local schools. According to the Delaware Department of Education, 309 migrant students are enrolled in First State schools for the fall semester.

The program provides extra support to these students during the school year, too: helping tackle issues like language barriers and economic hardship.