APS News Release

A Message from the School Board on the Importance of the Census

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Dear APS Families,

During these difficult times in our community and nation, I hope that this letter finds you safe, in good health, and maintaining hope for a better tomorrow.

The challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic have been significant and highlight how vital schools are to our community. Schools provide a quality education along with programs, meals, services, social opportunities, and structure for thousands of children and their families.

The pandemic has also emphasized the importance of an accurate Census 2020 count and how critical it is to ensure that the appropriate amount of federal funding is allocated to our schools and community over the next 10 years to ensure continued support for our families and children.

Arlington receives approximately $50 million annually from federal grants based on Census data.

Completing the 2020 Census helps guarantee that Arlington will receive the correct amount of federal funding for school-related services such as Head Start, special education, after-school programs, school breakfast and lunch, children’s health insurance, early childhood development, childcare and more.

It also determines funding for transportation, infrastructure, social services, emergency services and other community needs. Recently, Census data determined the amount of money available to Arlington to expand food assistance services to many of our families, as well as offer Covid-19 testing and economic assistance to those who need it.

The first graders of 2020 will be in high school in 2030. Data from the 2020 Census will determine the resources available to them for most of their school days.

Congressional and State Representation 

The U.S. Constitution provides for proportional representation in the House of Representatives, based on the results of the decennial Census. This is also known as redistricting, and both federal and state legislative districts can be redrawn based on Census population data. One of the best ways to show your support for the rights of everyone in our community, of all races and origins, is to help ensure our accurate representation in Congress and at the state level. Obtaining a complete Census count is the most direct and immediate way we can do that.

While 70% of Arlington households have responded to the Census already, we still have a way to go before everyone is counted. If you have already responded to the Census, thank you! If you have not yet responded, this is something you can do with your kids today.

The questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to fill out. It is important to count everyone regardless of immigration or citizenship status, and all responses to the 2020 Census are confidential and protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Under this law, the Census Bureau is required to keep respondent information confidential.

Make sure to count everyone living with you, including children.

Some tips on counting kids:

  • Count children where they live and sleep most of the time – even if their parents do not live there, or if they split their time between two homes.
  • If a child moved during March or April 2020, count them at the address where they were living on April 1, 2020.
  • Count newborns even if they were still in the hospital on April 1, 2020.

Here’s how you can help:
We need your help in getting the message out to everyone that taking the Census is safe, easy and important. Let them know:

  • Taking the 2020 Census is important, easy, and confidential. Your responses are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics – they cannot be used against you in any way. Census data are used to allocate funding to numerous Arlington programs,including health services, education, food assistance, transportation, and housing.
  • Taking the 2020 Census is Easy!You can take the Census:
    • Online –Go to gov. Non-English speakers can select a different language at the bottom of the page and/or review the language guides for step-by-step instructions on taking the Census in another language.
    • By Phone –Call 844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or use these phone numbers to take the Census in 12 other languages.
    • By Mail: The Census Bureau sent forms in English to Arlingtonians. Households that received a paper copy by mail can fill it out, place it in the envelope provided, and drop it in a mailbox. Non-English speakers can refer to one of the 57 language guides for instructions on filling out the form.  Arlington provides a Mongolian language guide.

Again, we appreciate all you are doing under these very difficult circumstances. Thank you for taking the time to count everyone in your household so that Arlington receives the funding it needs to provide programs and services to our students, families and our entire community.

Everyone in Arlington Counts!

Tannia Talento
Chair, Arlington County School Board