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The 2020 Census, which counts every person living in the U.S. regardless of citizenship or immigration status, is particularly critical for students in public K-12 schools and higher education. The count impacts federal funds that communities receive for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programs, school lunch assistance, and other public services.

Questionnaires should arrive by mail around mid-March. Responses can be on paper, online, or on the phone (the Census Bureau has plans to count populations in unique living situations).

You can help ensure an accurate count. “Educators are trusted, and we can reassure others that participation in the census is safe, important, and necessary,” says NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Being counted helps ensure that all communities receive their fair share of federal and state funding for schools and other critical services.”

Hard-to-count populations include recent immigrants and English learners, LGBTQ+ people, those without financial stability and stable housing, children in shared custody arrangements, and children being raised by someone other than their parents. Children ages 0-5 are particularly at risk for being undercounted.

Talk to friends, family and colleagues about the importance of the Census. Incorporate census data into curricula, whether focusing on civics or data literacy. Find lesson plans, maps, historical data, coloring pages, quizzes, and other resources at NEA Today neatoday.org/2020census, census.gov/schools and censuscounts.org.