Nevada County Counts: 2020 Census
Why is the census so critical for students and educators in public schools?
Census data determines the distribution of more than $77 billion nationally for the state of California, including to programs that provide support for children with special needs and low-income families. These funds help schools reduce class sizes, hire specialists, continuously bolster teacher quality, offer preschool to low-income families, and ensure that hungry students can get breakfast or lunch to help them pay attention in class. Census data is used to fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the USDA National School Lunch Program, Head Start, rural education grants, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and so many more.
How does an inaccurate census happen, and how does it negatively affect our students?
When children and their families go uncounted, it is unlikely that their schools and communities will receive the resources needed to help support their success and well-being. Young children are at high risk of not being counted. The 2010 census missed 10 percent of children under the age of five–that’s more than 2 million kids. Why? Hard-to-count populations include some of our most vulnerable families: recent immigrants or English language learners; those without financial stability and stable housing; and children in shared custody arrangements, or those being raised by someone other than their parents. Children ages 0-5 are sometimes undercounted even in households where everyone else is counted accurately, simply because the adult filling out the form is unaware that babies and toddlers should be included.
Is the Census Safe?
Yes, extremely. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep all information confidential. Under Title 13, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information, even to law enforcement agencies. The answers provided are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release anyone’s responses in any way that could identify them or anyone else in their home. For more information on privacy and confidentiality, visit https://2020census.gov/en/data-protection.html
March 2nd-6th, 2020 is Statistics in Schools Week, a weeklong series of fun classroom activities is provided by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools (SIS) program to educate students about the importance of the once-a-decade count. Information, resources, and materials can be found at: https://www.census.gov/content/census/en/programs-surveys/sis/2020census/sisweek.html