The U.S. Constitution requires that every person living in the United States is counted every ten years for the purpose of ensuring fair representation and distribution of resources. The U.S. Census Bureau will carry out the census this spring, and Census Day is on April 1, 2020. The decennial census provides foundational information that will be used to make policy decisions for ten years.
ISBE is doing its part by making sure that schools recognize their important role in this process. Schools and educators are in constant contact with hard to count populations.
2020 Census Information
The 2020 Census self-response deadline has been extended to Sept. 30, 2020, due to COVID-19 and starting Aug. 11, 2020, Census Bureau enumerators will be deployed in the field conducting in-person interviews for those households that have not yet responded. Prior to August, we're encouraging everyone to either:
https://my2020census.gov/ to fill out their questionnaire online.
- Call our toll free number at (844) 330-2020 (English) or (844) 468-2020 (Spanish) to speak with a live operator.
- Mail in their completed paper copy of the 2020 Census.
Resources for Hard to Count Populations
One of the biggest challenges in ensuring a complete count is reaching and counting hard to count (HTC) populations. These include young children, immigrants, the homeless, LGBTQ communities and more. Schools interact with HTC populations on a daily basis and are essential in ensuring a complete count.
The 2020 Census will NOT ask about citizenship and federal law prohibits the reporting of any census answers to immigration, law enforcement, or anyone else. Everyone should fill out the census, regardless of immigration status.
Children birth to five:
How to Support a Complete Count in Your Community
This how-to flyer empowers schools with strategies and tactics to make sure everyone in their community is counted in the 2020 Census. From emails and letters to families to hosting a Census Night, these actions will help schools lead the way in reaching hard to count populations.
How to Support a Complete Count in Your Community Flyer
Census EDU Summit and Webinar
December 4, 2019: Census EDU Summit
ISBE co-hosted Census EDU, a half-day summit convening 250 education leaders, practitioners, and partners to learn more about the 2020 Census and how schools can play a central role in helping Illinois reach hard to count populations. Panels, speakers, student performances, and interactive presentations equipped attendees with the knowledge and tools to engage students and their families in the state’s 2020 Census efforts. ISBE hosted the event in partnership with the Governor’s Office, the Illinois 2020 Census Office, and the U.S. Census Bureau at 9 a.m., Dec. 4 at Malcolm X College in Chicago.
- Census EDU Webinar
Billions of dollars are at stake for Illinois in the 2020 Census, as well as our number of U.S. Representatives. Educators are trusted voices in communities and play a critical role in ensuring every Illinoisan is counted.
ISBE hosted a Census EDU Webinar with speakers from school districts and the U.S. Census Bureau to share ideas and best practices and answer questions on strategies and tactics for how you can help ensure a complete count in your community.
Listen to the Webinar Recording!
Register Your Census Night
The Illinois Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19. In line with this guidance, ISBE has recommended that schools and districts review all gatherings and events where large numbers of people may be present. ISBE regrets that since Census Nights pose the potential for large groups of people to come together, ISBE no longer encourages schools and districts to hold Census Nights. We greatly appreciate your leadership in the State’s 2020 Census complete count efforts.
Thankfully, the U.S. Census Bureau has many resources available that can be sent home with students to share information with their families about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census. A flyer in many languages is available at
. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools classroom activities can also help raise awareness about the census, and many of these activities can be completed by students at home, if school is not in session. Additional resources can be found at
Individuals may complete the census online, by phone, or by mail beginning April 1. Completing the census in one of these formats means census takers do not need to visit the home.
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