Lack of participation in 2020 Census could impact funding in Mississippi schools

Updated: Sep. 23, 2020 at 9:21 AM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Miss. (WMC) - The 2020 Census deadline is in seven days and the number of people who fill it out will determine how school systems are funded over the next 10 years.

The Mississippi Department of Education says counties could lose millions annually if just 1% of children are not counted.

The organization Mississippi Kids Count says the state will lose close to $3,000 for every child that is not counted.

School leaders say the Census helps determine the Head Start program and others.

“As many school districts in the state of Mississippi, you know, Columbia School District is 75% of our student population is considered free and reduced lunch," said Dr. Jason Harris, Superintendent of Columbia School District. "So, obviously the Census is very important for us for the money that it will bring in to our county and to our school district.”

According to the Census Bureau, Mississippi sits at about a 60% self-response rate so far on the 2020 Census.

The deadline to fill out the census is Sept. 30.

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