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US Florida stands to lose millions for undercounting children in census

16:32  14 january  2020
16:32  14 january  2020 Source:   latimes.com

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Florida stands to lose millions for under - counting children in census . Florida ’s infants and toddlers face the greatest risk of being under - counted in the upcoming 2020 Census — an error that could cost the state “staggering” amounts of federal funding for everything from schools to children ’s

Under existing federal funding formulas, a total of 37 states will forfeit a portion of federal funds for the five aforementioned child and family programs as a result of a Hispanic undercount in the 2020 Census .[16] Some states and the District of Columbia already receive the statutory minimum federal

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida’s infants and toddlers face the greatest risk of being undercounted in the upcoming 2020 census — an error that could cost the state “staggering” amounts of federal funding for everything from schools to children’s health care to food stamps.

a close up of a piece of paper: Florida's infants and toddlers face the greatest risk of being undercounted in the upcoming 2020 Census.© Dreamstime/Orlando Sentinel/TNS Florida's infants and toddlers face the greatest risk of being undercounted in the upcoming 2020 Census.

Research of the previous census, in 2010, show that Florida had the second-largest loss in the nation from undercounting residents younger than 5 — at least $67.5 million a year for the past decade — and some advocates fear this year’s results could be worse.

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The lost children result in lost dollars for themselves and their neighbors. That’s because census “There are almost 2 million children in the U.S. living with at least one undocumented relative.” Groups representing those who stand to lose most from an undercount of children have been

Levy, who had launched an unsuccessful bid for state chair against Gruters in 2017, has also been critical of the million in charges on the state party American Florida stands to lose millions for under - counting children in census Florida could lose millions for census undercount of children .

“There is not one part of a child’s life that isn’t adversely affected by that loss,” said Roy Miller, founder and president of The Children’s Campaign, a statewide advocacy group. “It affects child care, it affects child welfare, it affects education, it affects health and nutrition. It’s insane not to do everything possible to count every child.”

The organization announced this week it is launching a statewide Count All Kids committee to work with faith-based groups, social justice leaders and other nonprofits to combat the ignorance, logistical challenges and government distrust that thwart an accurate tally.

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Due to a large Hispanic population, Florida stands to lose the most after Texas, estimated around 1 million annually lost in Medicaid funding, and at least million lost Almost half of all Florida children rely on Medicaid and CHIP for access to basics like vaccines, vision and hearing screenings

With the 2020 census count less than a year away, a new report says undercounting certain populations will be likely, despite the best efforts of the U.S Florida , California, Georgia, New York, Nevada, Texas, and New Mexico have the highest risk for undercounting , according to the Urban

But Miller acknowledges that time is short: By April 1, every household should receive a mailed invitation to participate in the 2020 Census, initially by going online or by calling a designated phone number.

Analysis by the Census Bureau found that, nationwide, 4.6% of children from birth to age 4 were missed in the 2010 Census. But in Florida the rate was 6.2% — more than 71,000 kids — roughly twice as high as the undercount rate for any other age group.

Florida’s young black and Hispanic children, who are more likely to live in poverty or multi-family households, were missed twice as often as white children.

Norín Dollard, director of Florida KIDS COUNT — part of a nationwide network that tracks children’s well-being and advocates for policy changes — said the impact is “staggering,” particularly in a state that often ranks poorly for how much it spends on its youngest citizens.

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Children under the age of 5 — another hard-to- count group — also face an undercount as high as 6.31%, or about 1.3 million young children . All of these projections are based upon what the Urban Institute considers a "high-risk" scenario. Still, John Thompson, a former Census Bureau director who

Census data also underpin state legislative districts and local boundaries like City Councils and school boards. An undercount in the census could also impact forecasts about Social Security payouts, which are already increasing as a share of the federal government’s revenue.

“The ones who need it the most are the very ones who aren’t getting counted,” she said. “They need Head Start. They need Medicaid. They need food stamps. And a lot of other states are doing better than we are in terms of counting them.”

Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced his administration “will do its part to support the federal government’s efforts” on the census by forming a Complete Count Committee to coordinate with the U.S. Census Bureau, local governments and other groups that already have their own committees to ensure a full count.

But Florida was one of the last states in the union to launch a statewide committee, and the announcement came after months of pleading by nonprofit groups to take action. There was also no indication that the effort will come with money to do the job.

Meanwhile, California is spending $187 million to promote the census.

For Florida, the biggest incentives for a thorough count are the likely addition of two congressional seats and the federal funding that is based on the results — not just for children’s needs but also for highways, hospitals, water and sewer facilities, job programs and community development block grants that can support, for instance, desperately needed affordable housing projects.

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Census counts tend to miss children , especially young children , William O’Hare, a “Understanding why young children experience such a high net undercount in the decennial census will About 8.5 million people were counted more than once. The population of black, non-Hispanic residents was

Children 's advocates have started taking measures to reduce child undercounts in 2020 and beyond, adding more specific language about children and babies to solicitation materials and clarifying the language on the question that asks people to list everyone in their household to remind people to

State and local agencies also use census data to plan new roads, emergency response and school locations. Businesses use it to understand market demand.

Nationally, a quarter of the population lives in areas that are deemed hard to count by Census Bureau officials because of a variety of factors — poverty, limited internet access or a high number of renters, who tend to move more frequently.

In addition, in regions such as Central Florida, where nearly half of households are headed by residents scrambling to cover basic needs, many may not be aware of the importance of the census or understand how it works.

“It’s amazing how many people who fill out the census just don’t count their own children for some reason,” Miller said. “Maybe they don’t read it very thoroughly, or they think it’s just for adults.”

Children in foster care are also often overlooked.

And in this year’s Census, advocates say Florida’s large immigrant population — including residents here legally — may be fearful of identifying themselves to the federal government, given deportation policies of the Trump administration.

“The rhetoric has been a big turn-off to a segment of the population that already feels marginalized,” Miller said.

Last year, the administration decided to drop a controversial plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected the move.

Census 2020 kicks off today in remote Alaskan town of Toksook Bay

  Census 2020 kicks off today in remote Alaskan town of Toksook Bay Residents in this small town are the first to be counted before Census Day begins on April 1.The residents of Toksook Bay, located in Alaska, will be the first to be counted in the census.

The undercount of young Latino children in California, Texas, Florida , Arizona and New York make up about three-quarters of the total undercount . California accounts for almost one-third of the undercount . The undercount of young Latino children is concentrated in counties with a populations

“The undercounting of Hispanic communities threatens the democratic representation of all Americans for Florida , which had 18.8 million residents under the official Census count in 2010, grew If all of them didn’t, Texas could lose two seats. Cherry said the population count also determines funding

But on Thursday, a national Latino leader told Congress that the failed attempt still haunts Hispanics’ perception of the census.

“They believe there will be a citizenship question on the form despite its absence and many fear how the data will be used,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, an organization that has said Florida is at particular risk.

There are logistical barriers to counting children, too. The census begins with a mailing to each household, but families in poverty tend to move more often than other groups, or they may live doubled-up with relatives or friends.

Although the questionnaire will ask how many people in total are living in the household, some respondents may misunderstand and only count their own families. Others may worry that landlords will discover there are more people than allowed living under one roof.

This year, too, census officials are encouraging people to fill out the form online — a decision that is expected to disproportionately impact low-income families, though respondents can also call in to answer questions or wait for the traditional paper forms.

“We’re very concerned that the Census Bureau is pushing this online,” Dollard said. “A lot of vulnerable families don’t have computers, and even though you can do it on a cell phone, you still need WiFi. We also don’t know what the interface will be like. Look what happened when they launched the Affordable Care Act — the website crashed.”

At the League of Women Voters of Orange County, co-president Gloria Pickar said everyone should be concerned about the count, not just advocates for children or families in poverty.

“For every child that is not counted, it erodes the quality of life for all of us,” she said. “Those are dollars that are not coming into our community, so communities (may) raise taxes to find the funding … or the issue will come back to us in other ways. Just because you don’t count a child doesn’t mean his or her needs go away.”

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©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)

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