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NSBA Supports U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Citizenship Question

By Soumya Karlamangla and Melody Gutierrez - Rep: July 15, 2019

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), representing more than 90,000 local school board members across the nation, working with and through our state associations, commends the June 27 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Dept. of Commerce v. New York. This is a decision that could have a profoundly positive and long-lasting impact on schoolchildren in our public schools.

Census numbers are used to calculate funding for a myriad of federal and state school responsibilities, including Title I services, Head Start, federal nutrition programs, special education initiatives and many more education and development programs. An inaccurate population count will truly harm all students, families and communities. Including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census would produce an undercount, significantly reducing resources for public schools and that would put student achievement and well-being under further stress.

NSBA is particularly gratified that the High Court agreed with NSBA’s argument made in our friend of the court brief, ruling that the “Secretary [of Commerce’s] decision is subject to judicial review.” In preserving the courts’ inherent right to judicial review, the Supreme Court reiterated a fundamental check on the co-equal branches of government in implementing policy under law.

NSBA also welcomes the Court’s recognition that federal agency discretion to put into place rules like the one here is not “unbounded."

As the matter now returns to the district court for further proceedings, NSBA and its state association members will continue to advocate for removal of the citizenship question from the 2020 Census in order to preserve federal funding for the myriad programs that benefit the more than 50 million children attending our public schools, their families and communities.

Source: National School Boards Association

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