Illinois and the Quad Cities have a lot riding on next year’s census. That was the message Friday in Rock Island from a panel of leaders from education and social service agencies.
Mark Klaisner is president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools. He says because so much federal money is allocated based on population, the state cannot afford to let the census miss anyone, and children are the most likely group to be missed.
"If that number is $1,700 a person, and there's a hundred people not counted, and you take that times ten years, it's a huge amount of money."
He thinks schools can play an important role in insuring a fair and accurate count.
"Schools tend to be very safe places and people may feel safer to fill out their census survey at a school computer lab, or during parent-teacher night, or as a polling place."
Kathleen Bailey, president of the Rock Island County League of Women Voters says we only have one chance to get it right, and we’ll have to live with the consequences for the next ten years.
Counting for the 2020 Census will begin officially on April 1st.