City Council District #31 Debate Initiative

Our Mission

Every school  should have a debate team. Every student should have access to the best debate education opportunities. Debate is one of the best academic programs to prepare students for college, career, and civic success.


District Schools and Students Served


Half of our work is debate tournaments every Saturday. The other half of our work is how we support our teachers, schools and students through outreach and starting and sustaining debate programs in schools. We have outreach coordinators in each Borough to support schools, train teachers, provide curriculum and professional development, coordinate local debate scrimmages, year round virtual support (webinars, emails, phone calls, etc), help teachers recruit and start debate programs at their school, and anything else needed to start and sustain a successful debate team. We provide assistant coaches and volunteers to schools to support their debate programs. We have all day teacher training conferences at least four times a year.


As a result we have successfully partnered with the following schools in the district to create sustainable and successful debate programs through year round support:

Schools Served:

Merrick Academy Queens Elementary Charter School


Queens Preparatory Academy



Other District Debate Programs


Debate Club. All District students are able to participate in our debate programs for free. We have a Debate Club that serves students without debate teams at their schools. 


Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Partnership. The New York City Urban Debate League (NYCUDL) partners up with the NYC Department of Education to boost middle school literacy skills through curricular and extra curricular debate.  


Travel Team. We provide travel scholarships to the District’s top debaters to compete at the nation’s top tournaments which include: Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Georgetown University, Rutgers University and other top tournaments. We also provide monthly practice sessions for the Travel Team.  We pay for all expenses for students including tournament registration, travel, meals and any other fees.



District #31 Debate Participation and Awards


Queens Preparatory Academy

6 Active Competitors, 2.33 Rounds/Season, 71.6& Title I


2016-17 Season Achievements

5th Place Team (Novice) - January 2017 - NYCUDL HS Debate Tournament #4

4th Place School - First Year Tier - NYCUDL Annual School Sweepstakes


2017-18 Season Achievements

12th Place Team (Varsity)  - October 2017 - NYCUDL HS Debate Tournament #1

Currently: 17th Place Debate Program - NYCUDL Annual School Sweepstakes