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SD Department of Education
Sept. 2020  
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SECRETARY’S COLUMN: Still time to fill out the 2020 Census

As I’m sure you know, the 2020 U.S. Census began this spring and will soon conclude. The Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. It is required by the Constitution and has been held every 10 years since 1790.

I’m serving on the Governor’s 2020 Census Commission for South Dakota, and I hope you’ll consider helping spread the word via school websites, newsletters, social media channels, and more. There is still time to encourage your staff, students, and families to get counted. As the Census Bureau says, “It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s important.”

Simply point folks to 2020census.gov where they can fill out their census form and find more information. There is also a toll-free number: 844-330-2020. Find information for phone numbers in preferred languages other than English at https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html.

As educators, you are uniquely positioned to help ensure that several populations who are historically difficult to count don’t get overlooked: non-native English speakers, low-income households, rural residents, and children.

The Census Bureau provides a variety of outreach materials, including social media graphics and posters.

And the Census’s Statistics in Schools program provides curriculum materials for classroom use to engage students.

According to the Census website, Census data informs how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to programs including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, school lunches, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

People can still be counted until the end of September. Thank you for everything you do for South Dakota students.


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