The national debt has everyone in politics looking for a way to solve the growing problem. The solution may come from an unexpected group of concerned citizens – students in Michael Cowan’s Government and Economics class at GCISD’s Bridges Accelerated Learning Center.
After researching the national deficit and debt, watching presidential debates and discussing proposed solutions, Cowan’s students took matters into their own hands and wrote letters to U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
In these letters, students made their own policy recommendations that they felt would make significant reductions to future budget deficits. Students were so confident with their recommendations, they wanted to make sure they were recognized if put into action.
“While reviewing the results of their efforts and the quality and creativity of their solutions, students wanted to know if they would receive credit for their ideas, if used by Congress,” Cowan said. “This indicated to me not only the level of interest that had developed, but the importance they placed on having their recommendations taken seriously.”
Some students were old enough to vote in the November election, and one student used his newly developed interest in politics to make the most informed decision possible.
“Before the November elections, I researched every candidate for every office in the state of Texas and then voted for people that I think will solve our nations economic problems,” said senior Aaron Massie.
These students are not only motivated to be involved in the political process, but to also make a positive difference in their local and global communities, a key objective of the district’s LEAD 2021 strategic plan. This project also engaged students through the use of technology, student collaboration and real-world application.
Regardless of their age and eligibility to vote in the last election, students in Cowan’s class now have an interest in politics that will continue long after the course has ended.
“The experience certainly motivated me to be more involved in the political process in the future, “ student Kayla Muncy said. “I may be just one citizen, but this debt affects us all. It only takes one person to initiate change or for change to begin and I hope to do my part in that change.”
As of the time of this article, students have not heard back from either lawmaker but they are hopeful they will receive a response soon. Please click here to read the students’ letters (printed with parent permission). These letters represent the views and opinions of students as part of a class project.