By Romana R. Gonzalez
In 1967 the Texas Legislature directed that the State Board of Education provide, by rules and regulations, for establishing and operating regional Education Service Centers (ESCs). Twenty Regional Service Centers were established to provide services to school districts throughout the state. The Centers are service organizations, not regulatory arms of the Texas Education Agency, and school participation in the centers' services is voluntary.
We are privileged to house the Region 15 ESC here in San Angelo, Texas. The mission statement of the local center is: "Education Service Center Region 15 is dedicated to excellence in education through leadership, partnership, and service". Our education specialists take on many tasks that you can use every letter from the alphabet to describe the services being provided. Some examples include coordinating efforts with local schools to assist in the identification of students with disabilities, bridging the digital divide in America's rural regions, and providing services to ensure that English learners, migrant, and immigrant students attain English proficiency and develop high levels of academic achievement, providing technical assistance and training for Gifted and Talented programs. The ESC staff does it all!
What is the Purpose of the Migrant Education Program?
The Migrant Education Program Team is also part of the ESC Region 15. The purpose of the Migrant Education Program is to design and support programs that help migratory students overcome the challenges of mobility, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, and other difficulties associated with a migratory lifestyle. These efforts are aimed at helping migratory students succeed in school and successfully transition to postsecondary education and/or employment. The state's migrant program is the fourth largest in the country and is administered locally through local educational agencies (LEAs) and educational service centers (ESCs). Texas migratory students and their families migrate annually to 48 other states in the country, making Texas home to the largest interstate migrant student population in the United States.
Who Are Migrant Children?
Migrant children served by the MEP are children, and youth ages 0-21 whose families work in the agricultural and/or fisheries industries and who will often move across districts and state lines several times within a 12-36 month period of time, following the various crops by season. It is not unusual for children to also work in the fields alongside their families when they are not in school or even during the school year. As MEP recruiters, we go out to the school districts and communities to inform educators and community partners on how to identify and help migratory students. We believe it takes a village to raise a successful, productive citizen. We believe that every student should be given an opportunity to succeed! We need the help of all of the people in Region 15. We need you!
For information on the Migrant Education Program, contact us at 325-481-4069 or email@example.com.