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The George W. Bush Institute today announced the first of a series of high school Economic Debate tournaments culminating in a national championship Economic Debate tournament weekend on October 19-20, 2013 at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.

The Bush Institute’s Economic Debate Program is one of the signature initiatives of The 4% Growth Project. Built upon the success of the inaugural high school Economic Debate weekend in 2012, this year’s national championship tournament will feature student finalists from five regional tournaments held around the country, plus finalists emerging from an online qualifier.  Each regional tournament will highlight a topic on economics and growth, encouraging students to think critically about free markets during their formative years.  The entire program is possible thanks to a partnership with the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues. 

“We are excited to expand the program this year to include regionals all across the country, including Baltimore, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Chicago.  But the expansion would not be possible without such capable partners,” said Machir Stull, manager of the Bush Institute’s economic initiative.

This year’s first qualifying debate will be held on August 2 in Plymouth, Vermont, the birthplace of President Calvin Coolidge. Amity Shlaes, director of The 4% Growth Project, is the author of the New York Times-bestseller Coolidge and one of the nation’s top Coolidge scholars. Fittingly, the Bush Institute is proud to partner with the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation to host students from the Dartmouth Institute of Debate to compete at President Coolidge’s birthplace.  Ben Voth, SMU’s Director of Debate, and Nicole Serrano, Bush Institute fellow and executive director of the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance, will be on hand to oversee the event.

To assist the students in preparing for the competition on August 2, the Bush Institute is bringing in international businessman and economist Roberto Salinas-León to lead an interactive educational seminar prior to the commencement of debates. After a day full of education and competition, the evening will culminate with a gala dinner at the Coolidge Presidential Site, made possible by the generosity of the program’s senior partner and host, the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation.  Brian Lamb, the founder of C-SPAN, will be on hand to deliver a keynote address.

For more information on the high school Economic Debate Program and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, please visit http://www.bushcenter.org/economic-growth/economic-debate.