Write Your Member of Congress
Through SGAP’s parent company, National Write Your Congressman, you can use the Constituent Opinion Ballot to write your members of congress about key legislation underway. NWYC provides small businesses with nonpartisan information and research on top issues and pending legislation in Congress.
America’s Legacy Book
The Foundation of Freedom
Written for middle and high school students, the new “America’s Legacy” book focuses on the text and history of the United States’ Founding Documents, including the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. Additional sections cover the elements of citizenship (how to be a good American citizen); the three branches of government and separation of powers; and excerpts from great American speeches. Interesting “Freedom Facts” and SGAP infographics are included throughout the book.
Established by National Write Your Congressman in 1992, the Student Governmental Affairs Program is a national nonprofit organization headquartered near Dallas, Texas. SGAP brings U.S. government and civics to life through a monthly newsletter that educates K-12 students about current legislation in Congress, presents pro/con perspectives from both sides of the aisle, and asks them to vote on the issues. SGAP supplements classroom instruction with nonpartisan educational materials that teach responsible citizenship through active participation. SGAP’s civics educational program is received by students in all 50 states and D.C., with about four million students having participated since its inception.
In 2019, SGAP received an Honorable Mention in the National Category for the American Civic Collaboration Awards (“Civvys”). Developed by the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, Big Tent Nation, and the National Conference on Citizenship in 2017, the Civvys Awards are among the most high-profile and visible aspects of the civic renewal movement.
Featured SGAP Infographics
“Thank you for this program. It is very helpful for AP Government and Economics Honors and Standard levels. Once I get them hooked, the students ask when is the next one coming?”
Educator in Sanford, FL
“I give the America’s Legacy books to each of my AP Government students as a reward for taking and completing the class. It is something that students have come back years later showing me their copy explaining how helpful it was in their college classes.”
Educator in Prosper, TX
“One of our main goals at DISD is to build civic literacy among our students and build good citizens. Your program teaches them critical thinking, civil discourse, and other skills they will need after they graduate. SGAP is an extension of the social studies standards and provides great information.”
Social Studies Instructional Coordinator, Dallas Independent School District
Issue 1: AM Radio
- What are the arguments for and against Congress requiring automakers to include AM radio in new vehicles? Decide how you stand on the issue, then see if you can argue the other side’s position.
- According to the Nielsen Company, AM radio listeners tend to be older (about one-third of them are over age 65). As a young person, do you think AM radio is still useful? Why or why not?
- Lawmakers say AM radio is a critical source for receiving broadcast emergency information. As Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) said, “When the cell phone runs out, the internet gets cut off, or the television doesn’t work because of no electricity or power to your house, you can still turn on your [car’s] AM radio.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
- Automakers say that cell phones are much better at broadcasting emergency alerts than AM radio. With today’s smartphones, is AM radio still necessary? Why or why not?
- AM radio is free to all drivers of cars that have it. Given this fact, how does AM radio compare to other modes of communication such as cell phone and internet reception?
Federal Deficit Explodes Even as Economy Grows
ON SEPT. 3, budget experts announced that the federal deficit is projected to roughly double this year, as bigger interest payments and lower tax receipts widen the nation’s spending imbalance despite overall economic growth.
After the government’s record spending in 2020 and 2021 to combat the impact of covid-19, the deficit dropped by the greatest amount ever in 2022, falling from close to $3 trillion to roughly $1 trillion. But rather than continue to fall to its pre-pandemic levels, the deficit then shot upward.
The federal deficit will likely rise to about $2 trillion for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan group that advocates for lower deficits.
Issue 1: Supreme Court Term Limits
- Would Supreme Court term limits contradict Article III of the U.S. Constitution, which states justices shall “hold their Offices during good Behaviour?” Why or why not?
- Critics of Supreme Court term limits say it is an effort to grab the power Democrats have lost. How do you respond?
- Since the drafting of the Constitution, the legislative and executive branches of government have become more democratized. For example, senators are elected directly by voters in the states they represent. Should the judiciary undergo similar reform? Why or why not?
- Would term limits create a situation where justices are incentivized to rule in their self-interest during the final portion of their term to be more appealing to future employers? Why or why not?
- Opponents of Supreme Court term limits say unlimited judicial terms serve the goal of distancing the high court from political manipulation. Do you agree? Why or why not?
In June, the Supreme Court issued some of the biggest decisions of its term, including curtailing affirmative action in college admissions; rejecting President Biden’s plan to cancel or reduce federal student loan debts; and dismissing the “independent state legislature” theory, which would have given states greater power
over federal elections.
What demographic changes are transforming U.S. presidential elections in the 21st century? Let’s look at how the voting electorate has changed for the 2000-2020 presidential elections.
The three branches of government have checks and balances to distribute power or control equally.
EXECUTIVE BRANCH: Carries out laws | President, Vice President, and President’s Cabinet | 15 executive departments.
EXECUTIVE ORDERS OF THE PRESIDENT: Executive Orders are directives by the President that
manage the operations of the federal government. Article Two of the U.S. Constitution gives Presidents
broad executive and enforcement authority to enforce the law and manage the executive branch.