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E. Migrant and Workforce Development Subcommittee Report


Questions to be answered by the subcommittee:

  • What can be done in the context of this study to help migrant families and children?
  • What is the economic and social value of meaningful summer employment, including such things as learning about work ethics, career development, career and education choice and resume ethics, all of which are only possible with "meaningful" summer employment that is limited if not impossible with the shortened season?


Findings of the subcommittee:

Survey questions relating to migrant and workforce development issues produced some significant results.

Migrant and Workforce Development (n=42,523)
Survey Questions Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree Don't Know No Response
26. It is important for secondary students to hold a paid summer job. 13% 43% 22% 12% 2% 3% 4%
27. Migrant children's scholastic achievement is comparable to their classmates who remain in school throughout the year. 3% 8% 24% 32% 16% 14% 4%
28. Late school registration/early school withdrawal negatively affects a migrant child's TAKS scores. 24% 35% 19% 5% 2% 12% 4%
29. Migrant services within my school/district prepare migrant children well for the spring TAKS administration. 4% 17% 38% 10% 4% 23% 4%
30. The earlier school start dates make it more difficult for students and educators to obtain meaningful summer employment. 22% 27% 18% 15% 7% 7% 4%

The following question is for school employees, only. If you are not a school district employee, please skip to Question 32.

31. If you work during the summer months, what percent of your income is attributed to summer employment?
Less than 5 percent 24%
6 to 10 percent 12%
11 to 20 percent 8%
21 to 40 percent 4%
More than 40 percent 2%
No Response 50%

Late school registration and early withdrawal is believed by most respondents to negatively affect a migrant child's test scores. On the scholastic achievement of migrants, 48 percent of respondents said the migrant child's achievement does not compare with their classmates. These survey results are further solidified by TAAS test results from the 2001-2002 school year; showing a significant gap in test scores between migrant students and the total Texas student population. The passage rates of migrant students in math, reading and writing were 86.2 percent, 79.9 percent and 74.7 percent respectively, compared to total Texas student population scores of 91.7 percent, 90.6 percent and 87.2 percent. Although there are several factors that contribute to the academic levels of migrant students, compressing the school calendar to nine months would strengthen the opportunity for migrant students to receive the same number of instructional days as non-migrant students.

Regarding employment opportunities, 49 percent of respondents believe that early start dates make it difficult for students and educators to obtain meaningful summer employment. For educators responding to question #31, summer employment is an issue for 50 percent of the respondents, and of those that indicated they received some portion of their income from summer employment, 14 percent said that summer employment represented between 11 and more than 40 percent of their overall income. Additionally, with about 79 percent of migrant families enrolling their children in time for the current school start dates in August, two weeks of employment/wages are lost.


Recommendation:

Compress the school calendar to nine months, with a start date no earlier than the week in which September 1 falls and an end date on or before the first week in June.