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Everyone counts!

New York Teacher

From March 12 to 20, the Census Bureau will be sending a letter to all U.S. residents asking them to fill out the Census form. About 75% of people will be asked to complete the form by phone or online. The other quarter, in more remote or poorer areas, will receive a traditional paper survey.

New York State receives approximately $73 billion every year in funds from federal programs that use Census data. New York’s federal education funding for Title I grants, the National School Lunch Program, Head Start, career and technical education, special education and much more is calculated based on the Census count. New York’s share of federal funds for hospitals, roads and bridges, subways and other vital services is also driven by Census data.

New York City had a response rate of 61.6% in the last Census in 2010 — far below the national average of 74%. The undercount translated into billions of dollars in lost federal funding.

This year, UFT members must do everything they can to make sure every New Yorker is counted, so New York receives its fair share of federal funding for the next 10 years.

We are asking our members to do their part to make sure our school communities are counted. The UFT website has loads of resources and tools.

In June 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to allow the Trump administration to add a citizenship question to the Census. But that attempt sparked widespread fear in immigrant communities.

Remind public school families that the personal information collected by the Census Bureau cannot be shared with any government agency or court. Census Bureau employees are sworn to protect confidentiality for life. Violations are a federal crime with severe penalties.

Fill out your own form promptly. And encourage your principal to make your school a welcoming place for parents to fill out their forms.

The stakes are high. If New Yorkers are undercounted, our schools will not get the funding they need.

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