LACOE has announced the availability of some $2 million to support school district efforts to promote an accurate and successful count in the 2020 Census.
LACOE is one of 32 county offices of education around the state to receive funds through the California Census Office to be distributed to local districts with the largest populations of individuals who have historically been undercounted. Los Angeles County is identified as the nation’s hardest to count because of its high concentration of immigrant communities and people with limited English proficiency, among other groups.
“Schools are trusted messengers and play a critical role in ensuring full participation in the census so that California and Los Angeles County get their fair share of federal resources and congressional representation,” said LACOE Superintendent Debra Duardo. “L.A.’s children and youth have not been accurately counted in the past. This cannot happen again. The Office of Education is fully committed to supporting schools in this vital civic effort.”
At risk is adequate federal education funding for: early childhood education (Early Head Start and Head Start), high-poverty schools (Title I, Part A), Special Education for students with disabilities, students in foster care (Title IV-E), child care subsidies for low-income families (Child Care and Development Block Grants) and various health programs.
LACOE will partner with more than 960 schools serving hard-to-count communities in districts that include Los Angeles, Long Beach, Compton, Glendale, Lynwood, Montebello, Mountain View, Paramount and Pomona, providing $2,000 per school for census outreach to students and families. Activities may include:
- Training for school administrators and parents on the importance of participating in the census and the safety and confidentiality of the process;
- Implementing the “Count Me In” curriculum designed to teach students about the census and get them excited to advocate for an accurate count (see related story here);
- Organizing visual and performing arts contests for students that focus on Census 2020;
- Hosting Census Action Kiosks in schools to allow the public to complete the census questionnaire in a trusted environment;
- Holding a Census 2020 Awareness Week on campuses from March 23-April 9, 2020; and
- Engaging parents and students as census outreach liaisons.
Participating schools will have access to resources provided in the California School-based Communications Outreach Toolkit to educate their communities about the importance of census participation. In the coming weeks, LACOE will convene school districts to share more details on this countywide civic engagement effort, which the office will lead through June 2020.