- School Enrollment
- Special Needs
Child farmworkers may attend three to five different schools per year as they migrate from farm to farm. This disrupts both school work and social integration.
According to a five-year study, more than a third of farmworkers ages 14 to 17 dropped out of school, while 17 percent of these young farmworkers attended school at a grade level lower than their age peers. Likewise, the children of farmworkers were educationally disadvantaged. One quarter of school-aged children of farmworkers were behind in school or had dropped out.
Constant mobility makes it hard for farmworker children to complete their education. On average, the highest grade completed by farmworkers is seventh grade, with only 13% of farmworkers completing 12 years of schooling.
There are many exceptions to the standard minimum age for children working in agriculture. As a result, many children even younger than 12 are permitted to work in the fields as long as they have their parent’s permission–with no restrictions on hours except that they cannot work during school hours. Children working in all other occupations are permitted few exceptions to the standard minimum age. Children who work in agriculture, who work more than 40 hours, are not entitled to overtime pay, while children working in all other occupations are not allowed to work more than 40 hours per week.
Migrant Legal Aid assists families with school-related problems, such as trouble enrolling their children in school, transferring school credits, signing up for lunch programs, finding daycare, school transportation, and other issues. Our advocates help ensure the children and parents understand the services available to them and can access them without discrimination.
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