Maine West High School Advanced Placement Government classes focused on local government and balancing the city of Des Plaines budget for their first project of the year.
Students participated in all aspects of the local government budget process at City Hall on Sept. 21. The project was initiated by former 1st Ward Alderman Patricia Beauvais and Maine West government teacher, and continues due to the efforts of current 1st Ward Alderman Patricia Haugeberg.
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"The goal of this project is to have the students informed about the operation and challenges of their local government while preparing the budget for the city," Haugeberg said.
"It helps students appreciate what their government does to serve the needs of the residents and the work involved in preparing the budget for the city."
Students were divided into groups representing the mayor, aldermen, city clerk, city departments, tax revenue groups and non-taxing revenue groups.
Groups made presentations to student aldermen, who debated and discussed local government priorities and balancing the budget. The students interviewed residents of Des Plaines, local officials, department heads and visited some of the city's facilities prior to Friday.
See Channel 24 Des Plaines program schedule on www.desplaines.org under Media Services, for rebroadcasts of the student budget project.