The census: It’s important. It’s easy. It’s safe.
Answering 10 questions on the census will likely only require a few minutes of your time – time that results in millions in federal funding for Poudre School District and our students.
The census is important: The population counts are used to determine the allocation of federal dollars to states, cities, counties and school districts, including PSD. Accurate counts help people and policy makers understand demographic, economic, and geographic trends needed to inform critical decisions.
For PSD, an accurate census count allows us to provide critical services for our students. Federal funding supports our school nutrition programs and Title I schools. It also supports students with special needs, students who come from poverty, and those who are learning English, among others. Between 2011 and 2018, PSD received about $90 million in federal funds to enable these vital services. During that same timeframe, Colorado’s 178 school districts received about $3.5 billion, according to the Colorado Department of Education.
The census is easy: In 2020 you can respond to the census online (using a computer or a smartphone), over the telephone, or by submitting a paper form. Early in 2020, all census addresses will receive a card inviting the residents to complete the census.
The census is safe: All data collected through the census are protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Records are confidential for 72 years by law. The U.S. Census Bureau will never share a respondent’s personal information with other government agencies. Data is only released in summary tables; no individual records are released. In fact, all Census Bureau employees swear a lifetime oath to protect respondent information. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.
For more information, visit:
• United States Census Bureau
• Colorado State Department of Local Affairs
By next month, additional information about the census will be available on the PSD website. We will also share that with families through our school communities.
Your kids count, so make sure to count them when you fill out the census form in spring 2020. Thank you, in advance, for your help ensuring that PSD receives the most federal funding possible through an accurate count.
Sandra Smyser, Ph.D.