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Census Will Determine Planning for Schools But Children Are Largely Undercounted

Results from the 2020 Census are important to school districts across the country – whether fast growing or not – because they  provide a baseline for the next 10  years of school planning.

School districts use the numbers to ensure there are enough buildings and classrooms for children as they move through the school system.

Results from the 2020 Census are important to school districts across the country – whether fast growing or not – because they  provide a baseline for the next 10  years of school planning.

School districts use the numbers to ensure there are enough buildings and classrooms for children as they move through the school system.

Plus, results from the 2020 Census will be used by federal, state and local officials to inform decisions on how to spend billions of dollars in federal funds on education programs like Head Start for pre-K children, free- or reduced-priced school lunches for low-income children and teacher training programs.

That is why it is so important for families and caregivers to count everyone in their household when they respond to the 2020 Census, especially all children who live with them, including babies born on or before April 1.

Children under five are among the nation’s most undercounted populations, and school districts can’t plan for children they don’t know will be coming to schools in the future.

“The census only comes around once a decade,” said Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham. “A kindergartener counted in the 2020 Census … will be in high school when the next census comes around in 2030; that’s 10 years of school supplies, teachers, school lunches and school resources that are dependent on ensuring every child is counted.”

It’s not too late to respond to the 2020 Census online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by returning the paper questionnaire you received in the mail. By early August, census takers are set to begin visiting households that have not yet responded to the census to help ensure everyone is counted, including children. The deadline to respond is Oct. 31.

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