Thirty-six delegates from 21 states, the National Speech and Debate Association, the National Catholic Forensic League and the National Debate Coaches Association attended the NFHS Policy Debate Topic
Selection Meeting August 4-6 in Orlando, Florida. Eleven topic reports were presented by authors who for more than 11 months researched each topic area.
State delegates and participants deliberated for three days to determine the final five topic areas: Presidential Authority, Poverty, Immigration, Food Security and Supreme Court.
Serving on the 2017 Wording Committee were: Jeff Stutzman, Indiana (Chairperson); David Glass, Massachusetts; Ruth Kay, Michigan; Jana Riggins, Texas; Cort Sylvester, Minnesota; Pam McComas, Kansas; and Susan McLain, Oregon.
Balloting for the 2018-19 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 2018-19 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: PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORITY
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce the authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: weapons of mass destruction, immigration, indefinite detention.
PROBLEM AREA II: POVERTY
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase funding and/or eligibility for one of the more of the following: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid enrollment, Housing Choice Vouchers Program.
PROBLEM AREA III: IMMIGRATION
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration to the United States.
PROBLEM AREA IV: FOOD SECURITY
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: SUPREME COURT
Resolved: The Supreme Court of the United States should overrule one of the following decisions: