On February 18, the Louisiana Department of Education and the United States Census Bureau partnered to release an online census toolkit of resources. This toolkit is designed to help teachers and families effectively communicate the importance of the 2020 Census to students and children across Louisiana.
The toolkit is available at louisianabelieves.com and includes a variety of informational resources, such as
It also includes a set of grade appropriate learning activities, from analyzing career statistics for high schoolers to counting for pre-kindergartners.
State Superintendent John White, states “We are proud to partner with the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure every child counts in Louisiana. complete and accurate census is critical for all communities, as the results affect various aspects of education, from offering affordable, healthy school lunch options to providing high-quality early care and education to supporting historically disadvantaged students and their families.”
Every ten years, the Constitution mandates a census – or count – of the population in the United States. This includes the population of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. Beginning in March, each home across the country will receive invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation is received, respondents can choose to complete the Census by phone, mail, or, for the first time ever, online.
Responses from the Census are confidential and anonymous, and are not viewed or used by law enforcement or any other organization entity that is not that United States Census Bureau.
Every household should fill out the Census for a multitude of reasons:
- It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress.
- The information is used to redraw district boundaries.
- Census statistics help communities plan for resident needs, like new roads, schools, and emergency services.
- Census data is used by businesses to find out where to open new shopping malls/locations.
Every year, the federal government releases more than $675 billion to states and communities based on the Census Bureau data. Unfortunately, Census participation has decreased overtime.
For example, in 2000, 68 percent of questionnaires were mailed back to the Census Bureau by the Louisiana households that received them. However, in 2010 that rate decreased to 65%. During that same year, no more than 75 percent of households throughout each parish mailed back their Census. Ouachita Parish had the highest rate at 74 percent and Tensas Parish had the lowest at 44 percent.
The U.S. Census Bureau is the federal government’s largest statistical agency. They are dedicated to providing current facts and figures about America’s people, places, and economy. Federal law protects the confidentiality of all individual responses the Census Bureau collects.
Census background: Thomas Jefferson directed the first decennial census in 1790. As required by the U.S. Constitution, a census has been taken every 10 years thereafter. In 1840, the Census Act authorized the establishment of a centralized Census Office. In 1902, the Census Office became a permanent organization within the Department of the Interior. A year later, it was renamed the Bureau of the Census and moved to the new Department of Commerce and Labor.
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