2020 has definitely been an event-filled year. With all the unexpected ways we, as a society, have had to adapt and innovate as we ended our last school year and started another, it would be far too easy to let one of our country’s most important events slide right by without noticing…

What is the 2020 Census?

Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau (USCB), a nonpartisan government agency, conducts a nationwide study, also known as the Population and Housing Census to count every single person living in all 50 states and 5 U.S. territories.

From the Census Bureau, “The census tells us who we are and where we are going as a nation, and helps our communities determine where to build everything from schools to supermarkets, and from homes to hospitals. It helps the government decide how to distribute funds and assistance to states and localities. It is also used to draw the lines of legislative districts and reapportion the seats each State holds in Congress.”

So Why is the 2020 Census So Important for Education?

The responses our government receives during this year’s census will be used to make decisions that will aid our nation’s students, families, and schools, and will shape the future of education in our communities for the next decade.

“The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data… The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.”

That means your community’s school funding (including funding from the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act for your school’s CTE programs), educational resources, learning facilities, and academic and cultural programs are all going to benefit from simply making sure you’re counted!

What Do I Do?

If you’re over the age of 18, it’s your responsibility to make sure the 2020 Census is completed for the household in which you currently reside. It takes less than 10 minutes, it’s safe and confidential, and this year, for the first time ever, all households can answer the census online, by phone, or by mail.

If you’re under 18, ask your parent(s) or legal guardian if they’ve completed it yet.  If they haven’t, make sure they know how easy, and how very important it is!

In March, the USCB mailed invitations out all across the country, asking people to complete the census. As of the end of August, only a little over 80% of the anticipated national responses to the 2020 Census have been received.

But there’s still time! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USCB has extended the 2020 Census deadline to September 30th. So don’t wait! If you haven’t already done so, complete your 2020 Census response here.

And once you’re done with that, jump in and help spread the word! You can share the most up-to-date and accurate Census Bureau news and information with your friends, family, and followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Learn how to challenge your friends, and inspire others to get involved as well by clicking here! Through your involvement and social media channels, you can help shape your community, and our country.