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Five Potential Debate Topics Selected for 2017-18

By NFHS on September 12, 2016 hst Print

Thirty-three delegates from 21 states, the District of Columbia, the National Catholic Forensic League, the National Debate Coaches Association and the National Speech and Debate Association attended the NFHS-sponsored Policy Debate Topic Selection Meeting August 5-7 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Eight topic reports were presented by authors who researched each topic area during the past 11 months.

State delegates and participants deliberated for three days to determine the final five topic areas: Energy Policy, Income Inequality, Education Reform, Domestic Agriculture and Russia.

Serving on the 2016 Wording Committee were: Roberta Hyland, Virginia (Chairperson); Dustin Rimmey, Kansas; Jeff Stutzman, Indiana; David Glass, Massachusetts; Ruth Kay, Michigan; Jana Riggins, Texas; and Cort Sylvester, Minnesota.

Local arrangements were made by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association and Mike Plunkett.

Balloting for the 2016-17 national high school debate topic will take place in a two-fold process. During the months of September and October, coaches and students will have the opportunity to discuss the five selected problem areas. The first ballot will narrow the topics to two. A second ballot will be distributed to determine the final topic. Each state, the NSDA, NCFL and the NDCA will conduct voting in November and December to determine the favored topic area. In January, the NFHS will announce the 2017-18 national high school debate topic and resolution. It will be posted on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org and sent to state associations and affiliate members.

PROBLEM AREA I: Energy Policy
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase incentives for development and/or use of renewable energy in the United States.

PROBLEM AREA II: Income Inequality
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase progressive taxation, the federal minimum wage or consumer lending regulation in the United States.

PROBLEM AREA III: Education Reform
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its funding and/or regulation of elementary and/or secondary education in the United States.

PROBLEM AREA IV: Domestic Agriculture
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its regulation of one or more of the following in the United States: genetically modified foods, biofuels, pesticides, concentrated animal feeding operations, crop insurance.

PROBLEM AREA V: Russia
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase economic, diplomatic and/or military pressure on the Russian Federation.