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Participating in Census 2020

March 11, 2020

Participating in Census 2020

This week will kick off the collection for the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. While students and families will receive flyers, direct mail pieces, and tons of neighborhood target information it is important for schools to know what role they can play in assisting students, families and even community stakeholders about the importance of being counted in the Census.


Some specific facts on why the Census matters:

  • The Census count determines federal funding for Special Education, Head Start and Title 1 grants for tutoring, and other programs for low income families. For example, Detroit schools received over $110 million in federal education funds in 2017 based on census data.
  • In the 2010 Census, over 2 million young children were not counted. The failure to accurately count young children means fewer resources were allocated toward education, housing and health care programs.
  • The Census runs from mid-March through May. The Census form consist of less than 10 questions, takes under 10 minutes to complete and the Federal law prevents personal census data from being shared for 70 years. That means anything students, families, staff or community partners submit as a part of the Census is considered confidential.


What Schools Can Do to Participate and/or Encourage Participation:

  • Speak to students about the importance of being counted; encourage teachers to try classroom activities and lessons provided by Statistics in Schools Classrooms Powered by Census Data, an online toolkit for educators.
  • Hold sign-up events in conjunction with parent teacher conferences, PTA meetings or other school-based events.
  • Hold essay contests on “Why the Census Matters” for older students as a part of civics or American Government coursework.
  • Create text alerts to remind families of census’ impact on schools

Learn more information about the 2020 Census at 2020census.gov or via the Statistics in Schools educator portal. If you are looking for local resources to share with your students and families be sure to contact Amirah Vosburgh (Westside MI schools) or Christina Mireles (Eastside schools).

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Page last modified March 11, 2020