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Vermont’s Migrant Education Program contracts with UVM Extension to employ a team of recruiters who visit schools and farms across the state to find eligible migrant students. Recruiters are trained to interview families and youth, and to document eligibility decisions on standardized forms. After careful consideration by the State Identification & Recruitment Coordinator and the State Director of Migrant Education, child eligibility determinations are made.
According to the law, a child is a Migratory Child and eligible for migrant education services if all of the following conditions are met:
- AGE: The child is younger than age 22
- SCHOOL COMPLETION: The child is eligible for a free public education under state law and does not have a diploma or equivalent
- MOVE: The child moved on his or her own as a migratory agricultural worker/fisher OR the child moved with or to join/precede a parent, spouse, or guardian who is a migratory agricultural worker/fisher , AND The move was from one school district to another, AND The move was a change from one residence to another residence, AND The move was due to economic necessity, AND The move occurred within the past 36 months
- PURPOSE OF MOVE: One purpose of the worker’s move was to seek or obtain qualifying work
- QUALIFYING WORK: The employment is seasonal or temporary AND the work is agricultural of fishing
Agricultural work is defined as 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 for personal subsistence (those who consume a substantial portion of their food intake due to economic necessity).
Recruitment in Vermont is especially challenging since migrant families are moving in one of the most rural areas of the nation. In order to successfully accomplish our mission, to find every migrant child in the state and enroll them into our program, we rely heavily on the cooperation and support of others. One of the most important aspects of recruitment for the Vermont Migrant Education Program is to build strong relationships throughout our state. We work directly with the agricultural community, local schools and service agencies to find migrant children and youth.
Recruitment staff are frequently referred to as the “face of the program” because recruiters are the very first staff members to visit migrant families and youth in the state. Recruiters must be responsive to a wide variety of conditions. Recruitment staff are bi-lingual (English and Spanish speakers) and each carries a wealth of practical information both for agricultural employers, local school districts and for migrant families and youth.