Education topic — Counterplans

Agent Counterplans 

There are a number of counterplans that change the agent of action in the plan, arguing that it would be good if a different branch of government (executive, legislative, or judicial) did the plan or that a different level of government (state/local) did the plan 

States counterplan. As you hopefully discerned from the discussion of the policy cases, the states counterplan is the most popular counterplan on the topic. Negative teams can advocate counterplans to have the states act while avoiding disadvantages to federal action – spending (fiscal discipline or military trade-off) and Politics disadvantages.

Given its ability to implement most of the affirmative plans and solve (nearly) as well as federal action, many camps wrote disadvantages to increase state spending in particular areas, such as state education budget cuts in areas other than the counterplan, reductions in social welfare and health spending and/or the harms of state tax increases.

One disadvantage claims that federal spending is better because it would trade-off with increased military spending and that military spending is bad.

Anti-commandeering counterplan. This counterplan has the Supreme Court of the United States should devolve authority over [the plan] to the governments of the 50 states and relevant U.S. territories by ruling that [the plan] is a violation of the anti-commandeering doctrine. The governments of the 50 states and relevant U.S. territories should [the plan]. It claims that striking down the commandeering doctrine will revitalize federalism.

State supreme courts counterplan. This counterplan has the state supreme courts should rule that [insert plan mandates]. This counterplan argues that the states courts can rule to establish rights based on their constitutions (state courts can legally increase rights, they just cannot decrease rights beyond what has been establish as the federal floor) and that such action will strengthen judicial federalism.

States offer counterplan. This counterplan has the federal government offer states education money in exchange for them implementing the plan. If states do not do the plan, they do not get the money.

One version of this offers the states incentives to implement the plan mandates.

Notes from the file –

This is technically not an agent counterplan since it uses the same agent as the plan – the federal government – but I thought it made sense to include it here because it is a different spin on the states counterplan

Courts counterplan. Instead of having Congress act, this counterplan argues that the courts (usually the Supreme Court) should issue a ruling requiring either the implementation of the plan or some other method to solve the harms (inequality may be a violation of the equal protection clause, for example). The net-benefit is usually a politics disadvantage.

Constitutional amendment counterplan. Useful against affirmative that use the Supreme Court as an actor, this counterplan says the Constitution should explicitly be amended to provide the protection the affirmative says the courts should establish. The net benefits are the disadvantages to court action.

Unfunded Mandates Counterplan. Many cases either provide direct federal funding to support programs in the states OR provide funding that regulations are attached to. This counterplan simply issues the mandate without providing funding . It claims spending as net-benefit and also claims to destroy federalism, as education policy is an area of authority that belongs to the states. There may be an angle to make politics a net-benefit as well.

Public vs. Privates Debate

Private schools/school choice counterplan. This counterplan argues that rather than continuing to support public schools in some particular way that, the United States federal government should establish public education tax credits for the costs of attendance and donations to nonprofit scholarship funds. It claims that the market will more effectively provide educational services and that

Ban private schools. This counterplan argues that private schools should be banned because if they were banned then wealthier families would push for more adequate educational resources for their children.

Advantage Counterplans

Immigration counterplan. This counterplan argues the US should substantially liberalize education in order to allow more immigrants to enter the US. The case claims this would generally improve the economy but also promote US leadership in STEM because immigrants have these skills.

Privatization counterplan. Rather than increase funding for public education, this counterplan argues that funding should be directed toward the privatization of education. The counterplan claims to solve the case better (or at least as well) an avoid the Coercion/Libertarianism Kritik (see the Kritik section).

Process Counterplans

These counterplans simply change the process through which the plan is implemented, claiming that this different process will still result in the plan but that the process itself will accrue some benefit.

Conditions counterplan. This counterplan conditions the funding that is provded in the plan The United States federal government should condition funding on School districts treating a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of Title IX The counterplan reinstates Obama’s guidance to include transgender bathroom accommodation – Leveraging the plan’s federal funding can effectively pressure states into compliance.

Research counterplan. This counterplan argues he United States federal government should engage in prior research and evidence gathering, binding consultation with teachers and teacher unions, and experimental tests concerning [plan] including an announced intention to [plan] within a year and convene affected parties for binding mediation over the substance of this policy. It claims better implementation, improved efficiency , and reduced waste.

Referendums counterplans. The Northwestern workshop has brough this counterplan back from the dead. The counterplan has the United States federal government should hold a binding national policy referendum over whether to <Insert relevant portions of the plan> and should implement the result. It claims that the public would vote in favor of the plan in a referendum, but that if you have the referendum first that would strengthen democracy.