Accurate Census Data

Solution To Poverty

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It is vital, it is critical, that the public has confidence in the Census.  Anything that compromises that compromises America.   —TIME magazine

How many men, women and children live within American borders seems academic.  A fact easily answered by the U.S. Census Bureau, which, by constitutional decree, updates its tally every decade using an army of 635,000 “enumerators” who are employed to walk door-to-door, gathering household information, Haley Sweetland Edwards, reports for TIME.

The Census results are critical and vital.  “They inform the very foundation of our electoral  process: how state and federal political districts are drawn; which Americans are counted for representation; and how federal dollars, many of which are allocated per capita, are spent,” Edwards states.

The 30-year director of the Census Bureau is leaving June 30.  He will be replaced and the new director’s job will be to provide data that Americans can trust.  TIME says there are signs that the bureau is struggling.  In April, Congress allocated less than half its requested budget increase for 2017, leading the agency to cancel or abridge some scheduled field tests.  “If you underfund the Census, you get an under count.  And if you don’t count people, they are politically invisible, in effect,” reports TIME.

It’s up to the director, after all, to decide how much effort should be put into tracking down hard-to-find populations.  And if the director makes choices that wind up, say, excluding minorities, that could unfairly shift representation and money, TIME postulates.  This has happened.  After the 1920 Census, Congress refused to accept data showing the country’s rapid urbanization and voted not to reallocate seats based on that supposedly flawed information.

We need to agree on how many people live in each county, how we can fairly and accurately allocate federal funds!  Horizonte, Salt Lake City School District’s alternative high school and adult education center, funding comes from federal, state and school district sources.  Those funding levels determine Horizonte’s student offering.  But Horizonte’s college scholarship program is privately funded and is determined by student need and voluntary effort and giving!

 

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