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Census Data Essential to Ensure Broward County Education Programs are Adequately Funded

ImageFor those who may be undecided about whether to open the door for the census enumerator and fill out their 2010 census form, Phyllis C. Hope, School Board of Broward County Board member representing District 6, encourages residents to consider how census data helps fund public school education.

“Last year, Broward County Public Schools received $58 million in support of the Free and Reduced Price Meal program,” said Mrs. Hope, who is Chair of the Education Subcommittee of the Broward County Census 2010 Complete Count Committee. “That number is anticipated to reach $60 million this school year.”

Census data is used by the Federal government to allocate Title I and Federal Special Education Grant dollars. The U.S. Department of Education provides Title I supplemental funding to meet the needs of at-risk and low income students.

“Census data is essential to ensure that Broward County education programs are adequately funded,” said Mrs. Hope. “To continue receiving our fair share of these critical federal funds, it is imperative that people answer the census.”

Looking forward, census data will also affect planning in the next decade. Mrs. Hope said Broward County Schools’ primary projection tool utilizes census information as part of its anticipated growth analysis. She said there are additional ways that census data is used that affect Broward County Public Schools.

“Representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and our state legislature is based on population,” she said. “An accurate count assures us that we will have appropriate representation at the state and federal levels to meet the needs of Broward County students. Census data helps determine funding for schools, teachers and educational programs, as well as roads and buses to safely transport our children.”