Current Issues Blog & More


Our civics blog helps teachers connect articles on current issues in the USA to their classrooms and students. Teaching the news is time-consuming and complicated; by the time you are able to find and process important issues and identify how to teach them, they are old news. This blog will be updated weekly, with links to classroom-ready news items, relevant context, and suggested discussion questions for teachers. 

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Found 181 Results
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Caution US Capitol Governemnt Shutdown

10 Things to Know About the Government Shutdown

Post | January 15, 2019

Why has the American government shut down? As summarized by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: “Every year, Congress must pass and the president must sign budget legislation for the next fiscal year (FY), consisting of 12 appropriations bills, one for each appropriations subcommittee. When the federal government’s fiscal year began October 1, Congress had enacted […]

Government Shutdown

The New Congress and the Government Shutdown

Post | January 8, 2019

On January 3, the 116th Congress was sworn in as directed by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution. The incoming Congress will be the most diverse in history. Here are some facts about the makeup of the new Congress: In the House of Representatives, Democrats will now be in the majority with 235 members. Republicans will have […]

Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice Reform: The First Step Act

Post | December 31, 2018

On December 21st, President Trump signed the FIRST STEP Act of 2018 into law. In addition to being a notable act of bipartisanship, the act will have far reaching implications for the nation’s criminal justice system and will have meaningful impacts on the lives of incarcerated people. The bill, whose title is an acronym for […]

House of Representatives

New Year, New Congress

Post | December 18, 2018

Congress is adjourning for the holiday break and when it comes back in January, the new congressional class will be the most diverse in history. The November elections saw historic wins for women and minority groups that have lacked representatives of their demographics. The 116th Congress will include several notable members: There will be a record […]

Protest poster

Don’t Like the Election Results? Change Them!

Post | December 11, 2018

Just when you thought it was safe to declare the 2018 midterm elections over… Historically, the results of elections have always been honored, even when the fairness of a given contest is debatable. In recent history, for example, some people questioned to what extent the elections of John F. Kennedy1, Richard Nixon2, Ronald Reagan3, George W. Bush4, […]

Political Cartoon Donald Trump

Mueller and the Lame Duck

Post | December 4, 2018

Congress is back in session after Thanksgiving break, but the newly elected senators and representatives have not yet taken their seats. For the next month and a half, the outgoing Republican majority will continue to call the shots in the House of Representatives, meaning that these are the last few weeks of single-party control of […]

Political Cartoon immigration debt healthcare

Congressional Term Limits: A Balance on a Check?

Post | November 26, 2018

In this week’s blog post, we will explore an idea that is gaining some traction in the United States: term limits for members of Congress. New Kids on The Very, Very Old Block After attending orientation classes (yes, those are a thing) and being sworn in, freshman representatives and senators will take their seats next […]

Vote democrat republican

Making Sense of Election Results, Part 2

Post | November 12, 2018

In this post, we will take a look at some important issues that voters weighed in on in last week’s election. Our previous post examined the shift in the national political landscape, especially the change of power in the House of Representatives. This post will take a look at ballot initiatives across the country. For a full […]

Political Cartoon 2018 Midterm elections

Making Sense of Election Results, Part 1

Post | November 9, 2018

Tuesday’s election strengthened the Republican majority in the Senate, but it is likely that the most significant outcome at the national level is Democrats’ new majority in the House of Representatives. In this post, we will explore some of the trends and data from the midterms as well as some of the implications of divided […]

House seats voting

A Rumble in the House—What Are the Odds of Republicans Maintaining the Majority?

Post | November 5, 2018

What’s Up? The members of the House of Representatives represent citizens on the basis of population. Representatives (who are elected to two-year terms) have many duties, but their most important ones are to make and pass federal laws by introducing bills and resolutions, offering amendments, serving on committees, and voting to represent their constituents. Tomorrow, […]

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