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Students miss trip to learn about budget — because of budget

Lane Turner/Globe Staff

The interior of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

By Globe Staff 

Students from around the state who were scheduled to take part in a Federal Budget Simulation program at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Friday were forced to cancel the trip because of a deadlock on Capitol Hill over the federal budget that led to a brief government shutdown.

Officials from the history department for the Weston public school system tweeted late Thursday night, as the federal impasse loomed, that they were “disappointed” to announce that the field trip for 25 of their high school students would have to be scrapped.

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“The @JFKLibrary’s federal budget simulation program has been cancelled due to the threat of a federal budget shutdown at midnight tonight,” the department said.

The deadlock stretched into the wee hours Friday morning, spelling uncertainty for many federal workers and agencies. President Trump signed a bipartisan bill around 9 a.m., after the House narrowly voted on a two-year budget deal, effectively ending the shutdown. It was the second shutdown in three weeks.

Unfortunately, the move came too late for the students from Weston and several other schools who had long anticipated learning how the government functions.

The session is one of five planned at the museum between February and March. Each session includes approximately 200 students. A total of 29 schools are expected to send students, according to the museum.

Six schools from around the state were supposed to attend Friday’s event, which has been rescheduled to a previously reserved “snow date” in March, an official said.

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“Students role play as economic advisers to the president. Working in small groups comprised of students from schools across the state, they set priorities for their administration by reviewing the current list of discretionary programs that need funding, and deciding how much to invest in each program,” according to the museum. “In a culminating plenary session, each small group shares their budgeting results with the whole group.”

While disappointed by the last-minute change of plans, officials from Weston said on Twitter that there was a bit of humor in it all.

“We also deeply appreciate the irony of this situation!” the tweet said.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com.