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U.S. Census 2020 and Education
The U. S. Census: It’s important. It’s easy. It’s safe.
This fall the state begins preparing for the 2020 U. S. Census. The census is a count of all persons living in the United States that is conducted every ten years and is required by the U.S. Constitution. The census is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, how federal and state legislative districts are redrawn, and the appropriation of federally funded programs.
The census is important. The census 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 Colorado school districts, this means federal funding for school nutrition programs and supports for students with special needs, who come from poverty, who are learning English, for disadvantaged students to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards and have a well-rounded education. Since the last census, Colorado school districts have received over $3.5 billon in additional funds to enable these vital services for students.
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.
The census is easy. In 2020 you can respond to the census on-line (using a computer or a smartphone), over the telephone, or by submitting a paper form. Early in 2020 all census addresses will receive a card inviting the residents to complete the census. The 2020 Census provide people with a URL so they can complete the census online, a toll-free telephone number if they want to call in their responses, and an address to request a paper form.
The census is safe. All data collected through the census is protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Records are confidential for 72 years by law. All Census Bureau employees swear a lifetime oath to protect respondent information. The U.S. Census Bureau will never share a respondent’s personal information with other government agencies. Data is only released in summary tables, no individual records are released. In fact, all Census Bureau employees swear a lifetime oath to protect respondent information. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.
To assist local communities to prepare for the 2020 Census, CDE is working with the state’s Complete Count Committee to develop and disseminate communication resources and enable local complete count committees to meet local needs.
CDE has also created toolkits with relevant resources for school and district leaders and educators. Colorado educators and education leaders can expect resources to build awareness of the census in the fall and resources for supporting participation in early 2020.
Local Complete Count Committees
There are a number of local communities across Colorado that are forming complete count committees to coordinate and support local efforts to generate a complete count at the county or city level. Click here to see whether there is a committee in your area.