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Use this language for your back-to-school communication in a drop-in letter.
- Intended audience: Parents and community members
- Intended timeframe: Census September 2020
The Census: It’s important. It’s easy. It’s safe.
We are at the tail end of the gathering of information for the U.S. Census. If you haven’t filled out the information, please take the time to do so.
The census is important for many reasons. Its population counts are used to determine the allocation of federal dollars to states, cities and counties, and to help citizens and policy makers understand demographic, economic, and geographic trends needed to inform critical business decisions.
For the [insert name] School District, this means federal funding for school nutrition programs and supports for students with special needs. It also means funding for students who come from poverty, or who are learning English, or to help disadvantaged students meet challenging state academic standards and have a well-rounded education. The federal funding response to the current health crisis shows how census data is used. In May, Colorado school districts received close to $121 million from the CARES Act based on our population count.
Since the last census, the [insert name] School District has received $XXX in additional federal funds thanks to the census to enable these vital services for students. (FIND OUT WHAT YOUR DISTRICT RECEIVED)
Population totals from the census also determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, and the totals are also used to redraw federal and state legislative districts. Based on projections, Colorado could receive an additional seat in the House of Representatives thereby increasing Colorado’s voice as Congress debates issues important to all of us.
Census takers are currently knocking on doors to follow up with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. The door-to-door operation is scheduled to end on Sept. 30.
What Households Can Expect
Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more.
Census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before beginning their work in Colorado neighborhoods. The Census Bureau provides face masks to census takers and requires that census takers wear a mask while conducting their work. Census takers are required to follow CDC and local public health guidelines.
Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail. We encourage Coloradans to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.
How to Identify Census Takers
Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact their regional census center to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
What do you need to do? Complete the short and easy form online. If you don’t have a computer at home, you can use one at a library or at a location in your community clearly identified Census Questionnaire Assistance Center.
Your kids count, so make sure to count them when you fill out the census form!