SAN JOSE, CA – The Santa Clara County Board of Education and Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) have taken action to improve outreach to hard-to-count populations in Santa Clara County by adopting a resolution to promote outreach activities with districts, schools, parents, and students for Census 2020. Title I schools are schools that have a high free and reduced lunch eligible population and Title III schools have a high English language learner population.
"It is an education campaign to raise awareness in our schools, in our neighborhoods and our communities," stated County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Mary Ann Dewan.
Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau provides a complete count of its population to the President of the United States. Santa Clara County is one of the hardest-to-count counties in the country. By partnering with the State of California and the County Board of Supervisors, other local governments, businesses, and community organizations, SCCOE is working to ensure that every resident in Santa Clara County is counted. This work is part of a larger statewide initiative to provide an accurate and successful count in California, a state that has one of the highest hard-to-count populations. Undercounted populations include young children, people of color, rural residents, and low-income households. Other hard-to-count groups include seniors, frequent movers, foreign-born residents, people who distrust government authorities, and homes with no computer or Internet access.
"Both immigration and the housing crisis play a significant role, multiple families living at a single address may not realize they are eligible to complete a census, even if one has already been completed for that address," added Dewan.
"It is so important that we engage our local community, our local schools, and to help ensure that we do have a complete count," stated Dewan, "the absence of a complete count can have a negative impact on our county, our federal funding and elected office."
"This is so vitally important, I am so glad that we are an integral part of this," stated Board President, Rosemary Kamei.
SCCOE will provide education and support through a variety of activities including sample board resolutions for local districts, training, and parent outreach through the parent engagement initiative. All of this work is part of the SCCOE Civic Engagement Initiative The Power of Democracy.
"County Offices of Education are uniquely situated to provide outreach to hard-to-count populations because we work with so many of them including through homeless, foster, and early learning programs, and we intend to leverage that position," stated Dewan.
"Utilizing existing structures, committees and partnerships, the SCCOE will educate, promote, and help ensure that by the time the Census is released next year, our community is comfortable and ready to participate in the Census," added Dewan.
Dr. Dewan is a member of the Census 2020 Complete Count Steering Committee for Santa Clara County.
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About the Civic Engagement Initiative
Through the lens of equity and diversity, the "Power of Democracy: Civic Engagement Initiative" is a multi-sector coalition facilitated by the Santa Clara County Office of Education. The Initiative is designed to foster an understanding of the structures and processes of our democracy, share resources and best practices, encourage informed and multifaceted civic participation and build stronger communities. The Initiative is aligned to the CDE and the Education Commission of the States' "Six Proven Practices of Civic Engagement."
About the Santa Clara County Office of Education
Working collaboratively with school and community partners, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional, business, and technology services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The County Office of Education directly serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The SCCOE also provides academic and fiscal oversight and monitoring to districts in addition to the 21 Santa Clara County Board of Education authorized charter schools.