Child education programs: why the 2010 census is important

Child Education Programs: Why the 2010 Census is Important

The 2010 Census has significant implications for child education programs. 2010 census data will have a direct affect on how more than $400 billion annually is allocated to tribal, local and state governments over the next 10 years. In order for this money to be allocated accurately and fairly, the decennial census must count everybody, count him or her in the right place and count him or her only once.

Census data are used in a number of ways to help improve child education programs and provide for our school children. This data is used to help policymakers address specific functions, for example needs and challenges students might face in their communities. This includes determining new school construction, drawing school district boundaries, determining illiteracy levels as well as the socio-economic conditions of school-age individuals, providing proper aid to schools that serve students with limited English proficiency and measuring changes in education levels across districts and communities so employers can correctly determine where to locate job training as well as new jobs. Furthermore, this data is used to properly allocate roughly $26 billion annually in child education program funding.

There are certain child education programs that benefit directly from census data. The census data provides district, state and federal governments with benchmarks for determining child education program eligibility and for applying financial aid allocation formulas. Census data is also used in the allocation of funding for the following child education programs: special education preschool programs; Safe and Drug Free Schools programs; Title I grants to local education agencies; reforming secondary and elementary school programs that serve Native American children; Improving Teacher Quality State Grants; Title III grants to local child education program agencies to supplement services for English language learners; Impact Aid; rural child education programs; educational technology grants; Comprehensive School Reform Program; and Even Start.

There are numerous ways for concerned citizens to ensure that their child education programs receive the proper funding. Here are a number of ways that can help ensure an accurate census:

— Individuals can work with community centers and schools to create conversations about the importance of the census to child education programs as well as other welfare programs.
— They can devote time and effort to building a greater understanding of the benefits and purpose of the census. Then spread the message that participation in the census is both safe and important.
— Individuals can help reach out to diverse and undercounted populations — try engaging children who me the only English speakers in their immediate families, inform these communities that the United States Census can provide questionnaires in numerous languages, not just English, also inform immigrant and transient communities about «Be Counted» sites.
— Finally, remember everyone including babies, adults and children who live in a household should be included in the 2010 census regardless of citizenship status, nationality, race, gender or age. 

The foundation of American democracy is on equitable and fair representation of our citizens by elected officials in Congress. In order to achieve an accurate assessment of the location and number of individuals living with the United States’ borders, the Constitution mandates a census of our population every 10 years. Accurate census data determines how resources are allocated and is extremely important to child education programs as well as a variety of other programs.

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