Being counted in the upcoming 2020 Census makes dollars and sense for communitiesAndrea Hartzell
By Rob Gilligan, firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2020 Census is now less than three months away, and efforts to make sure we have an accurate and complete count are beginning to ramp up. One of the ways education leaders can help is to be champions for this important work and share how critical it is to schools and communities that we work together for a good count on April 1.
Here are some great talking points and opportunities to highlight as we move toward spring.
Beyond the constitutional requirement for appropriation of seats for the House of Representatives, the Census has become the point of measure for the allocation of billions of federal funds each year.
Kansas receives approximately $6 billion annually though many different federal programs like Title 1, IDEA Special Education funding, school lunch programs and many more. Based on Kansas’ population, that means that for each person counted in Kansas in the 2010 Census, we receive roughly $2,000 per year in federal funds.
With support from the Kansas Health Foundation, the League of Kansas Municipalities has taken the lead in helping to identify the impact federal funds have on each city in Kansas.
This information can be a great talking point to begin discussions in your community and help to showcase the impact that the undercount of even just one household could have over the next decade. Explore this great resource online by visiting kansascounts.org and clicking on the Government Resources tab.
Opportunities for schools
The U.S. Census Bureau has put a great deal of time and effort into their expanded Statistics in Schools information and it can play a great role in helping to educate and communicate the importance of the Census in all grade levels. With access to lesson plans from pre-K to high school, statistics and facts broken down for each state and a wealth of resources teachers and parents can use to explore current data and prepare for the upcoming count.
The Census Bureau makes it clear on their website, “Using new Statistics in Schools (SIS) resources in your classroom during the 2019-2020 school year will support efforts to make sure EVERY child is counted in the 2020 Census. This count impacts the federal funds that communities receive for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programs, school lunch assistance, and more.” Explore these resources online at census.gov/schools and make the Census part of the spring semester experience.
The US Census Bureau is hiring hundreds of temporary workers to complete many important roles in the 2020 count process. With historically low unemployment rates, it will be more difficult than ever to fill all the necessary positions and that means an opportunity for many people in Kansas to work part-time and help. With flexible scheduling and a pay up to $17 per hour working for the 2020 Census can be a great part-time job for seniors, school staff, parents or community members that want to make sure their community is counted. Hiring will begin in January and applications can be filled out online at www.census.gov/jobs or visit the US Census Kansas offices in Wichita or Overland Park.