Groesbeck ISD reminds about Census
Groesbeck ISD needs the help of all residents within our district boundary to complete the 2020 Census. The Census will close September 30, 2020. Limestone County currently has only 48.4% compared to the State total of 61.8% in Census self-response.
“A low Census return rate will impact Groesbeck ISD through the amount federal funding received. This impact will be felt for 10 years,” Groesbeck ISD School Superintendent Dr. James Cowley said. Currently Groesbeck ISD received $1,042,876 or 5% of our annual budget from Federal funds.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, responses for the 2020 census will help decide on the annual allocation of more than $675 billion in federal funding for state and community needs, which includes funding for various school programs and services, such as special education, free and reduced-price lunch, class size reduction, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programming and more.
“The 2020 Census count impacts the federal funds that communities receive each year for programs and services that are critical for schools, students and younger children,” the U.S. Census Bureau stated on its website.
The most important funding local schools receive from the census is Title I funding, which is designated to schools with low-income students. Groesbeck has approximately 65%-70% of its students classed as low-income students. Cowley said, if there is a shortage in population count it can skew the amount of funding a school receives in a negative way.
Cowley explained one of the most important factors in receiving school funding is the number of age-eligible individuals — between 5 and 18 years old — within a school district’s boundaries.
General Information about the Census
The last day for Texans to be counted in the 2020 Census is September 30th. As of last week, over 90% of the Texas households have been counted either by self-reporting or by a census taker coming to their home. While this is an encouraging number, there are still over a million Texas households left uncounted. There are eight days left. Much is at-stake for Texas and its citizens. A complete and accurate count is critical. Work is still needed in the rural areas of our state. Can you do your part to ensure all Texans are counted?
Last week it was announced by the Census Bureau that it will shorten operations and possibly the opportunity for residents to self-report for the 2020 Census by one month. It is very important for Texas to have as accurate a count of those living in our state as possible. In this article Diana Elliott provides five reasons a well-funded, robust, and apolitical decennial census is an important asset for all Americans.
1. It is a foundational tenet of our democracy.
The decennial census is mandated in article 1, section 2 of the US Constitution to ensure that “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers.” The founders of our country knew that a fair democracy was based on an accurate population count.
The decennial census is one of our country’s longest-standing legacies. It has been conducted every 10 years since 1790, and the rigor of its data has been a cornerstone for fair representation throughout the nation’s history.
2. It determines how to allocate spending for many federally funded programs.
In 2015, states received nearly $590 billion from 16 large federally funded programs, the allocation of which was determined by 2010 census counts. Programs covering health (Medicaid), infrastructure (Highway Planning and Construction), education (Head Start), and food security (National School Lunch Program) were among the allocations.
Research shows that certain groups—including people of color, renters, and young children—are more likely to be undercounted. Residents of every state have a vested interest in ensuring that their counts, including those typically undercounted, are as accurate as possible to receive a fair allocation of federal resources and to ensure civil rights.
3. It determines legislative districts and ensures accurate representation in Congress.
The decennial census is the basis for political redistricting and the apportionment of representatives across the 50 states. It also helps jurisdictions comply with the Voting Rights Act, which ensures that all voters have access to language assistance, if needed, when they cast votes in an election. Data collected in the decennial census ensure that democratic representation is fairly allocated.
4. It is the foundation for important data products and projections for the rest of the decade.
Census counts are the base population for national and state population projections, which are created for years between decennial censuses. Such projections constitute our country’s official population counts. Census counts are a key component of the weighting process for the American Community Survey (ACS) and ensure that those who participate in the survey adequately represent the American public. A rigorous decennial census matters for the total count of the population in 2020 and the accuracy of the data for the following decade, too.
5. It is a key information source for all groups and stakeholders.
Although only legislatively mandated questions are included on the decennial census (and ACS), the data collected are crucial not only for research institutions, but also for the business community, state and local governments, and historians and archivists. For example, commercial databases benchmark to population counts from the decennial census. Such data are then used by the business community to make better strategy, marketing, and development decisions. Without accurate census counts, decisionmakers would be hamstrung in their planning and development.
In our democracy, there are various ways to show up and be counted. When we cast a ballot in an election, our choice of leadership is counted. When we engage with leadership and political institutions, our voices and opinions are heard. When we complete our decennial census— whether by mail, online, or with an enumerator at our door—who we are is counted.
Demographics and our place of residence are the facts that undergird an accurate representation of our country and a fair allocation of resources. In an era when facts and data are threatened, maintaining the integrity of the decennial census should be front of mind for all Americans