WHY THE 2020 CENSUS IS IMPORTANT TO CALIFORNIANS
2020 is an important year for California and the country – it’s the once-per-decade time that every person in America is counted in the U.S. Census. The census asks questions that provide a snapshot of the nation, and affects how many seats your state gets in Congress, as well as how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed for the following:
- Health care facilities
- Roads and transportation
- Recreation centers
- Social services
- And much more!
How exactly does the census impact education and schools? The census count determines the next 10 years’ worth of funds that your community’s schools will receive for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programs, school lunch assistance, and so on. If your child is in second grade now, the census count will have an impact on her education until she graduates from high school!
It’s easier than ever to respond to the census. You can respond in 13 different languages, and you can complete it online, by phone, or by mail. Your responses to the census are safe and secure. The law requires the U.S. Census Bureau to keep your information confidential, and your responses cannot be used against you in any way.
You have the power to shape the future for the children of California by helping to ensure that everyone in your community is counted in the 2020 Census.
KEY CENSUS DATES
March 2020: Census taking starts by mail, phone, online and door-to-door canvassing.
April 1, 2020: Official Census Day in the U.S.
September 30, 2020: Last day to complete Census.
December 31, 2020: All statistics due to the President by this day.
March 31, 2021: Redistricting counts sent to states by this day.
EFFECT OF CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK ON THE CENSUS
The U.S. Census has had to adjust the timing of some of its activities due to coronavirus:
- The window for households to respond to questionnaire notices that have been mailed to them has been extended to August 14, 2020
- The start date for census-takers to begin door-to-door operations has been delayed until March 29, 2020
- Mobile (public, community-based) questionnaire assistance centers will not open until April 13, 2020
Here are some resources from the U.S. Census Bureau that can help educate your family, school and wider community about the census, and help you get the word out about why it’s important.
Census 101: An overview of what the census is and why it’s important.
Household Survey FAQs: This resource describes how the residential household survey works, and how to respond.
Why We Ask: An analysis of the specific questions asked on the census, and why each one is important. (Note: There is no citizenship question on the census.)
Confidentiality: This flyer describes the confidentiality rules regarding the census.
Dispelling Myths: This article addresses many common fears and rumors about the census.
Accessibility: Click here to learn all the languages the census is offered in, and all the different ways of responding.
Statistics in Schools (SIS): The Census Bureau created this program to help children understand the importance of the census. SIS features activities and lessons for grades K-12 which bring school subjects to life using real-world census statistics. Click here to learn more about the program and how you can encourage your child’s school to implement it.