CLOSE

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora bought 3000 tacos to give away four at a time to anyone who confirms they have completed a census form on Sept. 19, 2020.

NorthJersey.com

With nearly nine days left before the 2020 Census concludes,  New Mexico Public Education (PED) Secretary Ryan Stewart reminds New Mexicans an undercount could impact public education for the next ten years.

In a press release, PED said nearly 15 percent of New Mexico households have yet to be counted in the 2020 Census and the completion deadline is Sept. 30.

Experts estimate that every 1 percent undercount will cost New Mexico $780 million in its fair share of federal tax dollars, read the press release.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the Carlsbad Current-Argus. 

The Carlsbad Municipal Schools received $8.8 million in federal money through support of the State of New Mexico, said Superintendent Dr. Gerry Washburn.

“That number is determined based on our 2010 Census count and current student enrollment. We spend that money on programs for Special Education and additional educational supports for students in poverty and English Language Learners,” Washburn said.

Buy Photo

Carlsbad Municipal Schools Superintendent Dr. Gerry Washburn speaks to the Carlsbad City Council on July 14, 2020. (Photo: Mike Smith Current-Argus)

The PED release indicated a 15 percent undercount would result in a loss of almost $12 billion over the coming decade of taxpayer money spent on federal programs that are funded on a per-capita basis.

“Such a loss for a relatively poor state like New Mexico is untenable,” Stewart said in the release. “We’ve been working so hard to improve academic outcomes for all our children, and we’re gaining ground. Imagine the progress we can continue to make between now and 2030 if we receive our fair share of federal funding.”

He said people should imagine educators trying to make progress without access to books or food programs, both of which are supported federal dollars.

More: 2020 Census: New Mexico’s future in the balance?

“There is no possible way to replace that lost revenue. An accurate census is simply critical for New Mexico,” Stewart said in the release.

 Washburn said a census undercount would have a direct and indirect impact on the on the Carlsbad Municipal Schools. He said the direct impact is a loss of federal support.

“Indirectly the census undercount hurts us because it determines representation in the state legislature and we need as many positive advocates for Carlsbad as possible in the legislature,” Washburn said.

Stewart and Washburn urge people to fill out the census as it will benefit all students and citizens in New Mexico.

“We have sent out multiple reminders to parents and staff urging them to complete the census.  We will be sending out reminders again reminding them to complete the process if they have not already done so,” Washburn said.  

More: Census 2020: New Mexico government officials express angst over changes, response rates

To respond to the census today, visit 2020Census.gov or call 844-330-2020 or 844-468-2020 for Spanish.

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter. 

Read or Share this story: https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/2020/09/21/new-mexicos-education-system-could-get-impact-census-undercount/3482785001/