Last year a public high school in Phoenix decided to give students a taste of civic engagement by offering them a chance to get involved in one of the most participatory democratic processes around: Participatory Budgeting. Bioscience High School principal Quintin Boyce offered students part of his discretionary budget to spend as they chose. An article in Time Magazine describes the first phase of the project:
At Bioscience in Phoenix, which broke ground as the first school to implement participatory budgeting with students, the democratic work began with the design of the process itself. First, each grade level elected four student representatives to a steering committee. This committee of 16 students created the rules for the PB process and invited all students to submit proposals. In the first year, a total of 45 students collaborated on preparing 30 proposals.
The article goes on to describe the projects that were ultimately selected:
The three projects that received the most votes were educational in nature. The first was a sustainability education display for the school’s courtyard, the second was color ink for a student-built 3-D printer, and the third funded camera adapters for laboratory microscopes. The three most popular projects exceeded the PB budget by a few hundred dollars, but Principal Boyce was so enthusiastic about the way the process unfolded that he agreed to fund all three options.
You can read more here.