Research Links and Critical Thinking Questions for February 2020 Issues

Jan 17, 2020 | Ideas For Teachers


Issue 1: Longer School Day (Family Friendly Schools Act) S.2784 “Family Friendly Schools Act”
“Sen. Kamala Harris Introduces Family Friendly Schools Act”
“Statements of Support for the Family Friendly Schools Act”
Lone Conservative Teen OpEd: “Family Friendly Schools Act Would Be a Disaster”
The Hill: “Kamala Harris’s Family Friendly Schools Act Is Far from Family Friendly”
National Center for Education Statistics: “School Day Length by State”

Issue 2: Balanced Budget Amendment H.J.Res.5 H.J.Res.22
Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) OpEd: “Congress’ Resolution Should Be to Fix National Debt”
Investopedia: “What Is a Balanced Budget?
Peter G. Peterson Foundation: “Balanced Budget Amendment Pros and Cons”
Balanced Politics: “Yes/No Arguments on Balanced Budget Amendment”
Thoughtco: “The Balanced Budget Amendment Debate”


Issue 1: Longer School Day (Family Friendly Schools Act)
1.    Read the text of S.2784 “Family Friendly Schools Act” (link above). Is this bill the right solution to syncing workday and school-day schedules? Why or why not?
2.    If Congress passed the S.2784 legislation, what might be the best- and worst-case outcomes, in your assessment?
3.    Using the NCES “School Day Length by State” link, determine your state’s average school day length. How might your life change if your school day was longer?
4.    Is the issue of mismatched work/school schedules a problem that needs to be fixed? Why or why not?
5.    Read the “pro” and “con” quotes on p. 3 of the newsletter. Decide whose opinion you agree with most and why?

Issue 2: Balanced Budget Amendment
1.    Is a balanced budget amendment necessary for Congress to not spend more than it receives in revenue? Why or why not?
2.    What impact might a balanced budget amendment have on fiscal policy during a recession?
3.    Compare the “pro” and “con” arguments of a balanced budged amendment (links above). In your analysis, which arguments are the most germane and why?
4.    How would a balanced budget amendment affect the balance of power between the president and Congress? Between the federal courts and Congress?
5.    Would a balanced budget amendment create incentives for policymakers to use dubious accounting and budget tricks to overcome the difficulties of meeting the budgetary requirements? How might this be prevented?