Students whose parents are active, knowledgeable voters are more likely to be thoughtful, active citizens themselves.
The following questions related to municipal government are intended for parents and teachers to discuss with students in equipping them to think logically and independently about their role as stewards of representative government:
Sample Questions for Civics Curriculum
- Why are cities formed?
- How are municipal governments incorporated?
- Who authorizes a municipal incorporation?
- What are the primary functions of municipal government?
- What are the constitutional priorities of municipal government?
- What are the elected offices in Leander’s city government?
- What are the responsibilities of those holding the respective offices?
- How are candidates for those offices elected?
- When are City of Leander elections held?
- What are five categories of revenue sources for the City of Leander?
- What are five categories on which the City of Leander can spend money?
- What functions of city government could best be served through private enterprise and competitive contracts?
- What is a budget?
- How does the City of Leander create a budget?
- Who has ultimate responsibility for developing a budget?
- Who is entrusted with responsibility for implementing the budget and executing policy?
- What is a property tax rate?
- What are the components of a city property tax rate?
- How are tax rates determined?
- Who has ultimate responsibility for setting the property tax rate?
- What is an Effective Property Tax Rate (ETR)?
- What is a bond election?
- Who calls bond elections?
- When are bond elections held?
- What is the purpose of a bond election?
- How can one determine who is promoting passage or defeat of a bond election?
- How do bond elections affect property tax rates? Effective Property Tax Rates?
- What is an appraised value?
- Who establishes the appraised value of taxable real estate?
- Who pays property taxes?
- What percentage of property taxes paid by your parent(s)/guardian is for public debt service?
- How do renters pay property taxes? If so, how?
- What, if any, impact do property taxes have on businesses?
- Who owns the debt (bonds) which must be repaid with property taxes?
- What are the consequences for failure to pay property taxes?
- Review your parent’s latest property tax bill and calculate the equivalent number of iPhones® (latest model).
- In what ways can a municipal government collaborate with other taxing jurisdictions to prevent redundancy of infrastructure and/or services?
- In general, what are the consequences, intended and unintended, of regulations and ordinances? Identify and discuss three beneficial ordinances and three detrimental ordinances?
- What are the requirements for voting in city elections?
- When can one register to vote?
- How does one register to vote?
- How does one learn about upcoming elections?
- What are the best sources to stay updated on elections in which one is eligible to vote?
- Describe the differences and merits of a constitutional republic and a democracy.
- Identify, describe and discuss the intent and actual outcomes of five constitutional republics and four democratic socialist governments (at least one from each continent). Using an iPhone ® to represent property, describe and discuss ownership, use and responsibility under each form of government.
This is only an introductory list of questions that will help parents discuss important matters of civics with their children. Answers to some of these questions can be researched on family-friendly, LeanderLookout.com.
- Williamson County Elections (for sample ballot and polling locations)
- Texas Secretary of State-Elections (upcoming elections and deadlines)
- City of Leander Secretary – Elections (for determining who is contributing to a particular candidate
- Texas Ethics Commission – Campaign Finance Reports (for identifying contributions a candidate has made to other candidates, campaigns, or political entities in Texas)
- Federal Elections Commission – Campaign Finance Reports (for identifying contributions a candidate has made to federal candidates, campaigns, or political entities)
Copyright © 2022 Don Stroud