The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is pleased to partner with California Complete Count Census 2020 and local school districts, governments, and community organizations in order to promote and encourage participation in the 2020 Census. A complete and accurate count of San Diego County’s population is essential. The data collected by the Census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to state and local governments. An undercount of our population could mean millions of dollars lost over the next decade.
At its December 2019 meeting, the San Diego County Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution recognizing the importance of the 2020 U.S. Census and supports helping to ensure a complete, fair, and accurate count of all Californians.
"Because schools are seen as trusted partners, it is important the school and district leadership commit to to providing accurate information about the census to students, parents, and community partners," said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. "To help that effort, I'm proud to launch our #MakeItCountMonday campaign."
Each Monday, superintendents and San Diego County principals will receive a weekly email with updates, messages, and resources they can share through their school website, newsletter, social media channels, parent meetings, and more.
"We recognize that San Diego County is home to many diverse communities, so our goal is to provide resources in as many languages as possible through the April census period," added San Diego County Board of Education President Alicia Muñoz. "We want to help teach hard-to count communities."
Hard-to-count communities include African Americans, areas with limited or no broadband Internet access, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, families with children under 5, farm workers, families experiencing homelessness, households with limited English proficiency, immigrants and refugees, Latinx people, and Native Americans and tribal communities.
Because of the breadth of SDCOE’s responsibilities, our employees work closely with many of these communities. Juvenile Court and Community Schools (JCCS), for example, directly educate many children in these categories. JCCS leadership is working hard to ensure parents understand the importance of taking the census and are even working with principals to connect parents with job opportunities connected to the census.
In SDCOE's Early Education department, Dr. Evette Callahan is leading the charge to help preschool leaders learn ways to engage in conversation with families about the census. Families often don’t think to include their young children in the count, but they should. Each person who is counted brings another $1,250 for San Diego County schools, hospitals, roads, and other public services.
In Learning and Leadership Services, SDCOE's history-social science coordinator is focusing efforts on reaching teachers through a special training on curriculum modules developed by the Sacramento County Office of Education in partnership with the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The curriculum is designed to teach students at the 5th-, 8th-, 11th-, and 12th-grade levels about the census and get them excited to advocate for a complete count in 2020.
“The more we can help people understand that the 10 minutes they spend taking the census will have a big impact on the next 10 years in California, the better," said Gothold. "Our students and families are counting on us to get this right.”