Civics Unit 7

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Annexation

the act of incorporating new territory into the domain of a city, country, or state.

At-large

a public official who serves an entire governmental unit rather than subdivisions of the unit.

Autonomy

freedom from external control or influence.

Charter township

a township that has been granted a charter allowing it certain rights and responsibilities of home rule that are between those rights of a city and those of a village.

City commission government

a form of government blends legislative and executive branch functions in the same body, typically comprising five to seven elected commission members.

City council

an elected body that performs legislative functions in a local government.

City manager

an appointed official, often professionally trained, who directs the administration of a city.

Clerk

a local government official who performs duties such as maintaining public records, organizing vital statistics, and issuing licenses and permits.

Council-manager government

a system of local government that combines the elected officials in the form of a council with the \managerial experience of an appointed government manager.

County

a political and administrative division of a state that provides certain government services.

County-township system

the subdivision of counties into townships.

Emergency manager

an official appointed by the governor to take control of a local government under a financial emergency.

Ex officio

Latin for "from the office"; a member of a body (such as a commission) who is part of it by virtue of holding another office.

General law township

the majority of townships in Michigan, offering the most basic of services, and generally following the boundary lines of survey townships.

General law village

the original village structure in Michigan; these villages share services with the townships in which they are located, and typically have a mayor-council structure.

Home rule

a concept in which greater local control of government is established.

Home rule village

a village with greater local control and less sharing of services with the township in which it is located.

Mayor

highest-ranking official in a municipal government; often a mayor is directly elected by citizens, though in some cases mayors are appointed by an elected body such as a city council.

Mayor-council government

a form of local government in which an elected mayor controls executive functions and an elected council controls legislative functions.

Mill

the unit of millage used in property tax computations; 1 mill is equivalent to 1/1000th of a dollar, so a 5-mill tax would represent five dollars in tax per $1,000 in property value. A $100,000 home, then, would pay $500 in property tax per year with a 5-mill tax.

Millage rate

the amount per $1,000 that is used to calculate taxes on property.

Municipal corporation

a city or village that has governmental powers as a result of incorporating with the state.

Revenue sharing

tax revenues from items such as sales tax that a state government shares with local government.

Special district

government districts created when the need exists to serve several units of government (such as a regional airport or park system).

Statutory unit

a government body created as a result of state legislation.

Strong mayor

a form of local government in which the mayor has greater executive powers at the local level, much like a governor or a president.

Township

a division of a county with some government powers.

Treasurer

a government official with responsibilities in managing revenue and expenses of the government unit.

Trustee

a person, usually part of a group of persons, appointed to administer the affairs of a government unit.

Village

a government unit similar to a city, except that it is not completely autonomous of the township in which it is located, reducing its home rule powers.

Board of education

a body of elected officials who oversee a school system.

Charter school

a publicly funded school governed by a group or organization under a contract (or charter) with the state

Curriculum

the methods and materials with which students will interact to achieve educational outcomes; the term can refer to a specific range of classes students take, or the term can be used to described the content and activities in a single class.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

a major national education law that dramatically increased federal funding for public schools.

English proficiency

a person's ability to read, write, and understand the English language.

Enrollment

the number of students registered in and attending a school.

Foundation allowance

the per-student funding provided to school districts by the state of Michigan.

Intermediate school district

regional service agencies in Michigan that offer support services to the school districts, including services like special education, vocational education, and professional development.

Principal

the person in charge of a school.

Public school

an educational facility supported by tax dollars that all children who live within the boundaries of a school district may attend.

Public school academy

official name in the state of Michigan for charter schools.

Pupil

another term for a student.

School board

a group of people who are in charge of local schools.

School district

a geographical area, with specific limits, whose schools are administered by a local board of education.

Superintendent

an administrator in charge of a school district.

Autonomy

freedom from external control or influence.

Charter (Home Rule) county

the form of county government in Michigan with the most autonomy; only Wayne County has this designation.

City-county consolidation

a city and county that have merged to combine services and reduce costs; Indianapolis is an example of this.

Commission-type county

most common form of county government in Michigan and the form with the least autonomy.

County administration

a professional manager appointed by a county commission to perform executive duties for the county.

County clerk

an official (often elected) who performs duties related to vital statistics, elections, commission recordkeeping, and county court system recordkeeping.

County commission

a group of elected officials responsible for administering county government.

County executive

an elected official in charge of a charter county government; currently Wayne County is the only Michigan county with an elected executive.

Dillon's Rule

the legal concept that the primary county role is to be an arm of state government, with only those powers granted by state constitutions and laws.

Expenditure

an amount of money that a government spends.

Health department

a county agency responsible for matters related to public health.

Independent city

a city that has greater autonomy and is not part of a county government structure; almost all of these are in Virginia, while Baltimore, MD is the largest independent city.

Justice of the peace

a local official of the judicial branch with the power to try minor cases, recommend cases for trial, and perform civil ceremonies (such as marriages and oath taking).

Legacy costs

expenses an organization must pay due to past investments in labor and capital; governments pay legacy costs in the form of pensions and other benefits to retired employees.

Property tax

a tax on property that the owner is required to pay.

Prosecuting attorney

also known simply as a prosecutor; the public officer in a county responsible for carrying on the prosecution in criminal proceedings.

Revenue

the amount of money that a government actually receives during a specific period.

Road commission

a group of official responsible for construction, maintenance, and repair of roads and bridges in a county.

Sheriff

a county official who is typically the top police officer of a county.

Tresurer

a county official in charge of the receipt, care, and disbursement of money.

Unfunded mandate

a law or regulation requiring a government to perform certain actions with no money provided for fulfilling the requirements.

Unified county

a form of county government in Michigan with greater autonomy than the commission form but somewhat less power than the charter form.

Appellate

a type of court concerned with applications for judicial decisions to be reversed.

Attorney General

the principal legal officer who represents the state in legal proceedings and gives legal advice to the government

Corrections

a state department whose responsibilities include imprisonment, parole and probation.

Direct primary

an election in which voters choose candidates to run on a party's ticket in a general election for public office.

Governor

the elected executive head of a state.

Graduated income tax

an income tax that rises in steps, with those having the highest income paying the highest percentage of tax.

Initiative

a process that enables citizens to bypass the state legislature by placing proposed laws and constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Medicaid

the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the United States.

Nonpartisan

free from political party affiliation or influence.

Parole

permission given to a prisoner to leave prison before the end of a sentence, usually as a reward for behaving well.

Per capita

another way to say "per person."

Probation

a period of time in which a person who has committed a crime is allowed to stay out of prison if that person behaves well and does not commit other crimes.

Recall

a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before the official's term has ended.

Recession

a period of general economic decline and is typically accompanied by a drop in the stock market, an increase in unemployment, and a decline in the housing market.

Referendum

a general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision.

Secretary of State

third-ranking official in Michigan state government who is responsible for elections, vehicle registration, and the licensing of automobile drivers.

State Administrative Board

a board that has general supervisory control over the administrative activities of all state departments and agencies in Michigan.

Use tax

tax on purchases made outside one's state of residence on taxable items that will be used, stored or consumed in one's state of residence and on which no tax was collected in the state of purchase.

Worker compensation

a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment.