A study conducted by Albuquerque Bernalillo County Community School Partnership in 2020 measured the ability of Community Schools around successful census outreach. Here is some of the data they found in their community:
- Based on the random sample of the Census tracts that were not targeted by Community Schools, it appears that the response rate in hard-to-count tracts remained about the same while tracts not designated as hard-to-count had a significant increase.
- Without intervention by Community Schools, we can surmise that the targeted tract response rate would have remained relatively flat. However, with intervention the targeted tracts had 5.97% greater response rate than expected.
- If each Census tract averages 8,000 people, then 5.97% of those 8 tracts is 3,820 people.
- If each person is worth $3,200/year in federal funding, the additional 3,820 people represent a monetary value of $12,224,000 of federal funding/year (or, $122,240,000 over the next ten years).
- What the schools in Bernalillo County did in 2020 is all the more impressive considering New Mexico’s overall response rate fell this time around (63% in 2010, 58.7% in 2020)
- Extrapolating from the sample size, we could surmise that if every school in New Mexico was a Community School that had focused on Census response turn out, the total response rate in the state would have been 64.08% which would account for an additional 126,430 people (or $404,576,000/year in Federal funding and $4,045,760,000 over ten years)
In the ABC Community, we cannot outright state that Community Schools’ work means an actual increase in $122,240,000 over ten years because Census enumerators did contact households who didn’t respond. However, enumerators may easily miss people who moved, don’t answer the doors/phones, etc. So we can say that the data indicates that Community Schools (along with their partners) ensured 3,820 additional people (representing $122,240,000 in Federal funding) definitely got counted. Without Community School intervention, we would never know if they actually got counted or not, when so much money is on the line.
This work was able to take place with just $5,000 from the County and the work of the Community School Coordinators (plus the partnerships/resources ABC and each coordinator brought to the effort)!