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Current Issues Blog & More

 

The Close Up Current Issues Blog, updated weekly throughout the school year, helps teachers connect current events to their students and classrooms. We know that teaching the news can be time-consuming; by the time you find important issues and identify how to teach them, they are old news. That’s where our blog comes in: unpacking issues in the headlines by providing relevant context, links to classroom-ready news items, and suggested prompts for thoughtful discussion.

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A New Rule Results in Cost-Of-Living Reimbursement for House Members

Post | January 18, 2023

An under-the-radar rule change proposed by Democrats in the House of Representatives in the waning days of 117th Congress could potentially increase members’ yearly compensation. The provision, approved by the House Administration Committee, would allow reimbursement for a number of living expenses, including lodging, food, and travel in Washington, D.C. How Much Do Members of […]


The Supreme Court Weighs the First Amendment and Minority Rights

Post | December 16, 2022

The case of a Christian website designer from Colorado who opposes same-sex marriage reached the Supreme Court on December 5. Because the Court said it would only address freedom of speech issues, the hearing pitted concerns over discrimination against freedom of artistic expression.1 Why Did This Case Reach the Supreme Court? Lorie Smith wants to […]


The Debate Over the Respect for Marriage Act

Post | December 7, 2022

The Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act on November 29, and the House of Representatives is expected to pass it this week. President Joe Biden has already said he will sign it. The bill is the result of months of work by congressional leaders to create legislative protections for same-sex married couples. The History […]


A Close Supreme Court Case Entangles Indigenous Children, Tribal Sovereignty, States’ Rights, and Race

Post | December 2, 2022

What began as a child custody lawsuit evolved into a lengthy hearing of four consolidated cases before the Supreme Court on November 9, 2022.1 The law in question is the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and the Court’s eventual ruling on it could impact laws about race, states’ rights, and the sovereignty of Native American […]


Close Up’s Election Recap

Post | November 17, 2022

By the end of the day on Election Day, 47 percent of eligible voters in the United States had cast a ballot in the 2022 midterm elections.1 After a week of waiting with several races still uncalled, heading to a runoff, or requiring a recount, it looks like Republicans will have a slim majority in […]


Will the Supreme Court End Affirmative Action?

Post | November 3, 2022

On October 31, 2022, the Supreme Court heard two cases regarding the use of race in college admissions.1 Rulings on these affirmative action cases could force many universities to reshape their admissions processes. The History of Affirmative Action and the Supreme Court The present-day context of the term “affirmative action” grew from executive orders by […]


Civic Education In Georgia

Videos | October 28, 2022

During this #CloseUpConversations webinar Close Up and an expert panel talks about the Importance of Civic Education in Georgia.


Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness: Too Much, Not Enough, Just Right, or Beyond the President’s Authority?

Post | October 25, 2022

In August, President Joe Biden’s administration announced a student loan forgiveness plan which would cancel up to $10,000 in debt for most borrowers and up to $20,000 for some borrowers.1 Current federal student loan borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year (less than $250,000 per household) can have up to $10,000 forgiven and those […]


Despite White House Push for Updated COVID-19 Boosters, Americans Are Slow to Roll Up Their Sleeves

Post | October 18, 2022

Last Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration expanded eligibility for updated COVID-19 booster shots to include children as young as five. Prior to this announcement, the revised Pfizer vaccine was restricted to those 12 and older and the Moderna vaccine was restricted to those 18 and older.1 These updated booster shots address the BA.4 and […]


Does Religious Freedom Guarantee Abortion Access?

Post | October 12, 2022

On October 6, three Jewish women filed a lawsuit against the state of Kentucky claiming that the state’s current abortion restrictions are vague and violate their religious freedom.1 Kentucky’s state legislature passed a series of bills in 2019 that banned abortion from fertilization, only allowing for abortion if the mother’s life is in danger. There […]


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