How the Census Impacts Education


Learn how your neighborhood’s children will be affected for the next 10 years

If you need a reason to participate in the Census, here’s a big one: Education for your community. And not just today, but for the next decade and beyond.

“The Census is a constitutional mandate that requires us to count the population every 10 years,” says Edward Flores, an Associate Professor of Sociology at UC Merced. “It’s the most reliable tool for measuring population and how and where to invest public money for infrastructure. If one neighborhood is shrinking and one neighborhood is growing, we need to know that so we more adequately support areas that need it.”

This is especially critical, says Flores, in the Central Valley, which has one of the highest poverty rates in California, along with the lowest rate of high school graduation, the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest median income. It also has 11% of the state’s population but only 3% of philanthropic dollars.

“These are markers of extreme disadvantage,” he explains. “So, for people not to be counted would further weaken the valley. An undercount would further disadvantage an already disadvantaged area.”

Census figures will, for example, determine where schools will close, where schools will be built, how many teachers will staff each school, and where school district boundaries will be drawn. But there are also more subtle impacts.

“The Department of Education gives grants to local schools, Title I funding, but it also improves teacher qualifications and supports English language acquisition,” Flores says. “It provides special education grants, special education preschool grants, special education infant grants. So working parents, very young children and children with special needs are going to suffer the most if there is an undercount.”

Finally, Flores points out other federal agencies also rely on the Census count, including those that provide health clinics, assistance to people with disabilities and — perhaps most important — nutrition. “The USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) issues food stamps and funds school breakfast and lunch programs,” he says. “Poor children don’t have the resources to get enough or healthy food and rely on these programs, which impact their school performance.”

About CNC Education Fund 55 Articles
EARNING THE VOTE OF LATINA WOMEN Anyone who wants to lead in California must do so with the support of Latina voters. California’s independent redistricting commission adopted final congressional and legislative districts for the next decade, starting with the 2022 mid-term elections. When you read about a Latino-majority district in California—think Latina power. Latina voters consistently outperform their Latino male counterparts in voting: 22 of the 80 new state Assembly districts are Latino-majority with Latina power voting blocs; 10 of the 40 state Senate districts are Latino-majority with Latina power voting blocs; 16 of 52 total congressional districts in California are Latino-majority with Latina power voting blocs. The articles below highlight the ever-growing Latina base of voters who are personally experiencing a housing crisis that is pushing their families out of their homes, and the climate change crisis in the form of toxic drinking water and pervasive health issues resulting from wildfires, drought and pesticide use near our homes. It is time to invest in the Central Valley and in the Coachella Valley beyond the usual election cycle or tit-for-tat politics. It is beyond time that the pathway towards California’s future centers on the priorities of Latina women and women as a whole because we are the spark leading the ways towards a better future—LÚCETE! Click on the icon here to learn more about CNC Education Fund: