Public Comment

Migrant Student Information Exchange: Public Comment

October 2022

In September 2022, the U.S. Department of Education requested comments on its proposal to update the data collection used in the Migrant Student Information Exchange to be inclusive of nonbinary students.

  • Luis A. Vasquez
    Staff Attorney, Former
Public Comment


The Migrant Student Information Exchange (MSIX) is nationwide electronic records technology that allows states to share educational and health information on migrant children who travel from state to state. The current proposal would update the MSIX to allow for a third gender option—“other”—in addition to male and female.


Among youth ages 13–17 in the U.S., 1.4% (about 300,000 youth) identify as transgender. The number of youth identifying or perceived by their peers as gender nonconforming is likely much higher: 27% of California youth—approximately 796,000 students—identify or are perceived by their peers to be gender non-conforming. This proposal would ensure that the MSIX accurately recognizes students who identify as non-binary in their school records.


Scholars write in support of the inclusion of a third-gender option in the MSIX. They provide legal and social science research to show that the expanded data collection is necessary and reasonable. In addition, they explain the benefits of equity and quality data collection that will be gained through the inclusion of non-binary and other students within the MSIX.

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Migrant Student Information Exchange: Public Comment