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July 2009, Volume 15, Number 3

Farm Worker Services: MEP

Maine's Department of Education repaid $1.5 million to the US government in summer 2009 after agreeing that its count of children eligible for the Migrant Education Program was inflated between 2001 and 2003.

All MEP-eligible children must have a certificate of eligibility. Maine officials estimated there were 10,000 migrant families in 2001-02, but a review found less than 2,500— in many cases, the children of immigrants rather than migrant farm workers were enrolled. Maine received an estimated $5.3 million in MEP overpayments, and repaid $4.5 million before agreeing to the final $1.5 million settlement.

In FY09, Maine received $1 million in MEP funds; most was used to operate a summer school in Washington County for 340 children whose parents work during the wild blueberry harvest.

Kelley Bouchard, "State settles migrant student funding error," Portland Press, May 31, 2009.