Understanding Fiscal Responsibility
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The Teachers College Columbia University, through a grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and led by Professor Anand Marri, have developed a curriculum about the federal budget, national debt and budget deficit. The 24 free lessons from the curriculum connect students to the current public policy dilemmas about the federal budget, national debt, and budget deficit that confront the United States and its citizens.

These 1-2 day lessons are not interdependent and are appropriate for students ranging from grades 9–12 in Civics/Government, Economics, U.S. History/Geography, World History/Global Studies/Geography, and Mathematics.

The lessons engage students in these critical dilemmas and include the resources students will need to deepen their understanding of the complex issues the dilemmas raise. The curriculum is nonpartisan and invites participants from all points of view to ask:


· What do the decisions we make about the federal budget, national debt, and budget deficit say about who we are as a people?

· How should we address our nation’s fiscal challenges now and in the future to assure that our decisions are consistent with our values and traditions?

As a nonpartisan and inquiry-based curriculum, the lessons are intended to help students understand the issues in all their complexities, be able to clarify their own thinking about these issues, and, ultimately, care enough to become involved in debating these and other public policy questions as citizens.