ERIC Identifier: ED260872
Publication Date: 1984-09-00
Author: Binder, Eugene
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural
Education and Small Schools Las Cruces NM.
Alternative Funding Sources for Migrant Education.
Federal dollars for migrant education were first allocated in 1967 by
Congressional amendment of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
(ESEA). The initial authorization of $9,737,000 was used to implement 121
elementary projects for some 43,000 children.
By 1983, the allocation had grown to $225,744,000 and supported more than
3,000 projects for some 600,000 pre-school, elementary, secondary, and
post-secondary migrant children and young adults. These figures reflect a
cost-per-pupil increase of more than two times the initial allocation (EDUCATION
BRIEFING PAPER 1981).
IS THERE REALLY A NEED FOR ALTERNATIVE FUNDING?
Yes. Despite the federal effort to provide increasing funds through a wide
range of both single-funding agencies and multi-funded program operations,
migrant educators continue to fall behind in their efforts to maintain the
necessary dollar amounts to keep pace with the needs of the children of migrant
farmworkers (TITLE I, ESEA, MIGRANT EDUCATION PROGRAM FUNDING HISTORY 1981).
Spiraling inflation, increased program costs, and increased numbers of
eligible children have surpassed the federal government's ability to provide
additional resources. To keep pace with real dollar costs of migrant programs,
alternative funding sources must be identified and tapped.
WHERE CAN MIGRANT EDUCATORS LOOK FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING?
If migrant education is to maintain its national momentum and effectively
meet the educational needs of migrant children, new fiscal sources, apart from a
shrinking share of the federal dollar must be found. Administrators for migrant
groups and migrant support groups should become acquainted with the vast range
of funding opportunities available.
Federal, state, local, and private sector agencies that have traditionally
served the poor, the disadvantaged, and other special-need target populations
could serve the migrant student as well. Such publications as CORPORATE
FOUNDATION PROFILES (1983), THE FOUNDATION DIRECTORY (1983), and the CATALOG OF
FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE (1983) are good places to start.
ARE ALTERNATIVE FUNDS REALLY AVAILABLE FROM EXISTING SOURCES?
Funding sources may be found in provisions of Title I, Chapter 1 of the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by Public Law 95-561.
Ten percent of the $3,200,394,000 provided by the amended act is reserved for
migrant education. The remainder is appropriated for other special programs for
disadvantaged student populations.
There is little evidence that these "other" funds are being leveraged to any
great extent by migrant educators to supplement their own program costs even
though migrant children are eligible for all services under these funds. Besides
Chapter I funds, migrants are eligible for Chapter II funds and for Title VII
bilingual funds of the act. This approach to federal funding suggests many
opportunities for alternative funding that are not being thoroughly used.
Other federal discretionary funds are also available to provide educational
services to migrants. Agencies such as Labor, Health and Human Services,
Commerce, Agriculture, Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the
Office of the Attorney General may be approached. Currently, few requests are
being made for these funds by migrant education administrators. A recent review
of the Federal Catalog of Domestic Programs noted some 27 federal agencies that
had established funding priorities for migrants.
Another potential funding resource is the states' Title I set-aside monies.
Each year individual states reserve a certain percentage of all federal Title I
dollars received to cover either existing or projected funding shortages that
might result if federal appropriations are cut off. The formulas used to
determine the amount of carry-over or held-back dollars were calculated many
years ago when the first flow of federal aid to education began.
Although the formulas vary from state to state, they add up to significant
amounts of unused dollars. If these old formulas were recalculated to reflect
the current philosophy of federal aid to education, they could release
significant amounts of program dollars. Migrant programs could be among the
beneficiaries of such a change.
Such state agencies as those for employment and training, health and human
services, and agriculture continue to target funds for direct and supplemental
migrant education services. The possibility of securing funds from local service
agency contractors -- such as community based organizations (CBO's) funded by
economic development block grant monies, by United Way dollars, or by Service
Delivery Administrative Agencies funded under the new Job Training Partnership
Act -- also should be explored.
ARE THERE VIABLE FUNDING SOURCES WITHIN THE PRIVATE SECTOR?
The final and most underused source for migrant funds is the private sector.
Despite more than 100 years of foundation, corporate, and individual giving to
promote a wide range of education, welfare, health, income assistance, and
cultural and arts activities, only a handful of migrant educators have turned to
this source for funding assistance.
Yet in 1983, foundations contributed more than $1.8 billion to educational
activites, corporations more than $1 billion, and individual benefactors more
than $20 billion (FOUNDATION NEWS 1984).
Although much of the private sector contributions for education went to
activities that served disadvantaged populations, there is only scattered
evidence that these activities included migrant children. In a very recent
review of major foundations located in Texas whose resources exceed $3 billion
and who have prioritized educational activities for disadvantaged populations,
only two small grants out of literally hundreds could be identified as migrant
related. A review of the educational contributions made to disadvantaged
populations by 75 of the leading corporate sponsors revealed no evidence of any
significant monies going to migrant education (THE FOUNDATION DIRECTORY 1983).
HOW CAN ALTERNATIVE SOURCES BE LOCATED?
The resources are available, but appropriate steps must be taken to reach
them. Raising additional funds is a long-range process that requires coordinated
action and sustained effort. The following steps are important in achieving
--Identify alternative funding sources. There are a number of directories,
indices, and reports which catalog the activities of private foundations and
corporations. Most useful are the publications prepared by the Foundation Center
and distributed by the Columbia University Press. The basic references are the
FOUNDATION DIRECTORY and the CORPORATE FOUNDATIONS PROFILE. They list all U.S.
foundations and corporate foundations which have assets of more than $1,000,000
or which distribute at least $100,000 in grants. There are four indexes to each
of these publications: (1) geographic location; (2) donors, trustees and
administrators; (3) an alphabetical list of foundation names; and (4) fields of
--Research each source to find those with interests similar to yours.
--Determine how the source prefers to be approached. Some may accept no more
than a prospectus.
--Cultivate new sources. Develop written proposals, make personal calls, and
use mutual friends. Establish and maintain contact by direct mail, by telephone,
or in person.
--Acknowledge each source for its past services on similar populations.
--Thank the source for any time and effort given. This increases the
likelihood of receiving financial support.
HOW CAN ALTERNATIVE SOURCES BE TAPPED?
Be sure that the survival of your agency is not solely dependent upon the
alternative source you have chosen. New funding support must be merited; it must
be sought, earned and then won.
Once you decide what is needed -- whether funds for staff, for program
operations, for building maintenance, or for some other area that is most
critical, then prepare a proposal limited to that area.
A good proposal should not exceed two or three single-space typewritten pages
and should include a detailed budget. The message should be conveyed simply and
directly so that the reader can easily understand your program's mission and
WHAT IS THE BOTTOM LINE?
Federal aid is not sufficient to meet the funding needs of migrant education
programs that must serve a growing, deserving student population. The challenge,
now, is to prevent any drastic cuts in traditional migrant funding while
simultaneously finding additional funds in other federal, state, local and
private agencies. Endeavors in both areas will be needed to ensure that migrant
education continues to maintain a national focus.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
EDUCATION BRIEFING PAPER - TITLE I MIGRANT EDUCATION PROGRAM. Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, 1981.
TITLE I, ESEA, MIGRANT EDUCATION PROGRAM FUNDING HISTORY. Washington, D.C.:
U.S. Department of Education, 1981. ED 209 033.
CORPORATE FOUNDATION PROFILES, 3rd Edition. New York: Columbia University
THE FOUNDATION DIRECTORY, 9TH EDITION. New York: Columbia University Press,
CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing
Hinkle, Glenn R., Robert L. Tipton, and Terrence R. Tutchings. WHO CARES? WHO
COUNTS? A NATIONAL STUDY OF MIGRANT STUDENTS' EDUCATIONAL NEEDS. FINAL REPORT.
Austin, TX: St. Edward's University, 1979. ED 180 701.
FOUNDATION NEWS (May/June 1984):9.