January/February 2020 Issue
January 05, 2020

NYSUT Counts: Census 2020

Source: NYSUT United
nysut counts census campaign

NYSUT Counts is our union’s initiative to ensure every resident of the state is reported in the 2020 Census.

The results affect the allocation of $700 billion in federal funding to schools, hospitals, municipalities and needy families.

“Much like our drive to defeat the state constitutional convention referendum a couple of years ago and our successful outreach to union members after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision in 2018, this crucial initiative is an opportunity to engage the power of our union,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta.

NYSUT is committed to holding one-to-one conversations with NYSUT members about the importance of being counted; providing curriculum resources to use with students; using direct mail and digital advertising; and working in coalition with other unions, community groups and like-minded organizations.

“For equity, fairness and justice, everyone must be counted,” Pallotta said. “The census begins April 1, but it’s not too early to begin to organize, educate and prepare communities for full participation.”


The George Washington University Institute of Public Policy reports that the state receives $73.3 billion from federal programs guided by 2010 census data. That’s an average of $3,700 per person, and nearly $10,000 per household.

Only 76 percent of households responded to that 2010 survey. If we can help raise the census response rate to 85 percent, it would mean an additional $9.1 billion in federal funds. At 95 percent, it would mean $18.8 billion more.

U.S. Census officials have launched a program that will use schools to encourage everyone to fill out their questionnaires. NYSUT members will help by doing what they do best: teaching kids.

Go to the NYSUT Counts 2020 website at nysutcounts.org for links to census resources, including the AFT’s Share My Lesson and materials from NEA Today.

The Census, what you need to know!

  • The U.S. Constitution requires a count of every resident of the United States once every 10 years.
  • Every resident counts, including children and non-citizens.


  • The 2020 Census officially starts April 1.
  • In mid-March, the Census Bureau will send letters instructing people to take the survey online.
  • In April, the bureau will send a letter and a PAPER questionnaire to nonrespondents.
  • In May and June, the bureau will attempt to conduct in-person interviews with remaining nonrespondents.


  • Based on the 2010 census, New York state receives more than $73 billion in federal funds.
  • It determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Right now, New York is projected to lose one seat in the House. If we are not all counted, we may lose two.

Every resident counts, including children and non-citizens.

NYSUT has a plan!

  • Union members will conduct one-on-one conversations with other NYSUT members about the importance of being counted.
  • The union will develop and distribute curriculum resources for members to use in their classrooms. NYSUT will also send direct mail and digital ads to members.

How YOU can get involved

  • Fill out the “Count Me In” form online at nysutcounts.org, and engage members about the importance of the census and being counted.
  • Encourage people to work for the census. Visit 2020census.gov/jobs for more info.