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Upcoming Census Means Critical Federal Education Funding for NYS School Districts

School districts in Central New York and across the state are being encouraged to make sure all their students get counted in the upcoming census. The New York State School Boards Association is spending the next month informing communities about the importance of the census when it comes to federal education funding.

Executive Director Bob Schneider says the 2010 Census undercounted nearly 1.3 million children nationwide, which had an effect on many New York school districts.

"The undercounts are just going to stress out our school districts more for our resources. We're in a tax cap envirronment and resources are stretched now for a variety of reasons. Undercounts would even make it that much harder to deliver the imporant education and programs that our school districts offer every day." 

Schneider adds that the two big reasons so many children were missed in 2010 was non-traditional living situations and undocumented immigrants.

"There is a fear factor out there where if they fill out the Census, there's a sense that they might get deported or ICE might get involved. Obiously, that's not the case with the 2020 Census so it's incumbent among our school board members and our school districts to get the word out that this is safe."   

The majority of federal education funding sent to New York is used on Title One and the National School Lunch Program, both of which assist school districts in low-income communities. The 2020 Census is getting underway across the country, with April 1st marking National Census Day.