Due to deportation fears, the U.S. census has been historically inaccurate. People who are not legal citizens are hesitant to file, which may cause funding towards public facilities to be reduced, including public schools. The census is a survey that accounts for the US population every 10 years. The upcoming 2020 Census will guide the state on how to divide taxes towards public resources, such as public schools and libraries.
“In the [census], there are several different areas where funding goes towards, it’s not just schools or hospitals or libraries,” Dr. David Reynolds, Director of Accountability and Assessment, said.
If the 2020 Census reports having a smaller number of students compared to those who are enrolled, the budget per student would be reduced to meet the total count of students.
“The government thinks our district has fewer people than we really do, so we get a smaller amount of money,” social studies teacher Raymond Gin said. “That’s why it’s important for our school district to count everyone and not be afraid.”
Furthermore, the census dictates how many representatives a state gets in the House of Representatives. By extension, this determines how much leverage a state has in electoral votes.
“There are only 345 people that are a part of the House of Representatives,” Gin said. “The census is important for us because California is the most populous state. We’re about one-tenth of the whole country and if we get more people, we are given more representatives than other states.”
On account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming 2020 census will be extended to Aug. 14. To complete the census one can fill out the form through mail or online. Further information can be found at 2020census.gov.