Lewiston-Altura High School teacher explains government shutdown - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Lewiston-Altura High School teacher explains government shutdown to students

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LEWISTON, Minn. (KTTC) --  It may be homecoming at Lewiston-Altura High School, but behind the banners, the marching band, and the floats, there's a lesson to be learned. 
 
"This week we've been looking at things such as the 27th amendment and figuring out, OK, why did our government shut down?" said AP Government teacher Erin Spencer. 
 
It all started with a simple sign on the door.
 
"To be clear, I expect to keep getting paid although I'll be updating my fantasy football league. You, the student, will be docked points for every day the government is shut down," it read. 
 
And although the sign on the door was a rib at current events, it fit perfectly with the lesson plan already on the agenda. 
 
"Right now, the unit we're actually learning about is about the compromises our government has made in the past and how the two parties have had to come to a conclusion and compromise on things. So it's kind of ironic that our government right now is in a shutdown," said student Elizabeth Hennessy. 
 
"They're kind of comparing things historically to what our government is doing now and how it's changed," said student teacher Katie Wall. 
 
The students are exploring how the shutdown impacts their lives. 
 
"My mom works for the federal prison and she's been telling me about certain regulations that have to happen during this time, certain times where you don't get paid," Hennessy added.
 
As seniors soon leaving the halls of high school and entering the real world, the problems in Washington can be alarming.
 
"Unfortunately, I think a lot of them are becoming very cynical bout it," Spencer said. 

For even advanced placement high school students, the shutdown can be tough to understand, so they had a lot of questions for Mrs. Spencer.  Among the most popular: Why does Congress still get paid if others' paychecks have stopped coming?

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