Posts Tagged ‘federal government’

Let’s Debate…Education Reform

Education reform, particularly federal spending on public education, has been a political hot-button issue since the 1960s. Questions that were asked then are the same that are debated now: Do the funds provided by the Department of Education improve students’ learning environments and opportunities, or do they simply allow states to decrease money allocated to education? Does federal funding advance education in public schools, or does it stifle public schools with regulations and oversight?

Check out Let’s Debate…Education Reform below for an overview of the topic. Also visit the SKS Spotlight of the Month, which explores the 2017-2018 National High School Debate Topic: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.


5 Things to Know About the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

On December 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). According to the New York Times, the sweeping law “will directly affect nearly 50 million students and their 3.4 million teachers in the nation’s 100,000 public schools.” ESSA is a rewrite of the oft-criticized 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which greatly expanded the federal government’s role in public education. ESSA cedes much of the federal control gained under NCLB. Although the 1,061-page ESSA spans a wide range of education policy topics, certain issues like standardized testing and teacher evaluations have gotten the most attention. Here are five important highlights:

What do you think about the newly signed Every Student Succeeds Act?

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @ProQuest or in the comments below.

Do you and your students want to learn more about the education policy debate?

Check out SIRS Issues Researcher for more information.

The Government Shutdown and Recent Budget Battles

Day three of government shutdownOn October 1, 2013, the U.S. government went into  a partial shutdown, resulting in the furlough of 800,000 federal workers, the closing of national parks and government offices and sending cable news commentators into a frenzy. The basis for this shuttering of the government is a showdown between Democrats and Republicans over the previously enacted Affordable Care Act. House Speaker John Boehner has been pressured by members of his party and the Tea Party Movement to defund or delay “Obamacare,” which they see as a potentially disastrous overreach of federal government, and such provisions were included in a continuing resolution, a bill that would temporarily fund the federal government until a budget is approved or another continuing resolution is accepted. President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were resistant to any change in the the ACA, which they see as settled business and a signature accomplishment of Obama’s presidency.

There have been numerous shutdowns in the past, the most recent being a 1996 impasse over funding for various federal programs. The current battle is latest of numerous bouts of brinksmanship that have happened in recent years, including the debt-ceiling and “fiscal cliff” fight that led to the 2013 sequestration, a raft of across-the-board budget cuts that many warn will negatively affect the economy.

Also complicating the current picture has been a looming mid-October deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling or risk having the U.S. default on payments to creditors and the resulting damage to the reputation of American creditworthiness.

eLibrary’s large collection of newspaper, magazines, books and other resources allow for effective research on the workings of the federal government and up-to-the-date content on current events. Follow the links in the text above and search in eLibrary for Research Topics pages and plenty of other documents related to federal budgets and the political battles that surround them. Research Topics are returned with regular results while searching in eLibrary (you can use the lists that drop down as you are typing search terms to aid in discovering them) and they can also be found by clicking the “Browse Research Topics” button. Among other RTs that will be useful for context and background on this topic include National Debt and Deficit, Economy of the United States, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Branches of the U.S. Government, Republican Party (U.S.), Democratic Party (U.S.)