Learners will gain insight into how city budgets in Austin, TX are created through a series of activities where they will get hands-on experience crafting, revising, debating, and pitching a city budget. While much of this curriculum is specific to Austin, there are lessons and activities that can be adapted for learners located anywhere.
The learning objectives underpinning each activity are informed by national and state of Texas standards for social studies, government, and economics as well as portions of Mozilla’s Web Literacy Standards. Complete each lesson in sequence or mix and match portions of these lessons with your learners.
Begin learning what city budgets are, what city budgets do, and how city budgets are created, and how they compare with personal budgets.
Introducing the city of Austin and how the budget impacts the city
Take a deeper dive into the city of Austin and learn how Austin’s budget is crafted.
Drilling down to Austin's districts and the major debates that shape the budget
Gain insight into the individual needs, group interests, and complex debates that shape the city budget, with a focus on public safety issues. Begin crafting a city budget using the Budget Party game online.
Discovering the actors, departments, and interest groups that shape the budget
Gain insight into the individual players, city departments, and various public interest groups that shape the city budget. Continue working on crafting a city budget using the Budget Party game online.
Creating and sharing out a budget
Develop a presentation to share your city budget and design an infographic to help people understand your ideas and plans.
Presentations and final reflections and assessment
Present and share your city budget and reflect upon the experience.