Northern Illinois University will administer the state’s Migrant Education Program from January 2019 to September 2021.
MEP is a federally funded program of the Illinois State Board of Education. It focuses on providing schooling to the children of migrant workers. NIU Director of Illinois Migrant Education Services Susana Das Neves says most of the programs are geared for migrants during the summer.
“What happens is that sometimes they pull the kids out of school before school is out and then they return them after school starts," she said.
Local grantees across Illinois will identify families, provide children with education, and promote parental engagement. Das Neves says NIU, in turn, will coordinate these programs and provide resources, such as qualified teachers.
“Each local program hires their own teachers to teach in the summer, but they need to get trained to teach this special population because you don’t have the whole semester, the whole quarter to teach a whole lesson," she said.
Participation varies depending on the number of migrants, but the 2016-2017 school year saw nearly 1,300 eligible children.