Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You
Dealing With Community Issues
Public policy is a general agreement among government leaders about how to deal with issues or problems that affect the entire community. Local governments must make both short-term and long-term plans for the future. To do this they must evaluate their priorities and then study their resources. A planning commission may then create a master plan for the community.
Education is one of the most important issues facing local governments. Local school districts raise most of the money for schools and determine how students should be taught. State governments create general guidelines for the schools. The federal government also imposes certain regulations on the nation's public schools. Other issues facing local governments are crime and social programs, such as welfare.
Industrialization has led to water, air, and soil pollution. The federal government's Environmental Protection Agency has taken the lead in setting goals and standards for cleaning up pollution. The states, however, have implemented these programs. Alternatives to landfills and incineration include recycling and conservation.