Administrative divisions of New York (state)
The administrative divisions of New York are the various units of government that provide local government services in the state of New York. The state is divided into counties, cities and villages. Cities and villages are municipal corporations with their own governments that provide most local government services. Whether a municipality is defined as a city, town, or village is dependent not on population or land area, but rather on the form of government selected by the residents and approved by the state legislature; each such government is granted varying home rule powers as provided by the New York Constitution. New York has various corporate entities that serve single purposes that are local governments, such as school and fire districts. New York has 62 counties, which are subdivided into 62 cities. In total, the state has more than 3,400 active local governments and more than 4,200 taxing jurisdictions. Counties and incorporated municipal governments in New York State have been granted broad home rule powers enabling them to provide services to their residents and to regulate the quality of life within their jurisdictions.
They do so while adhering to the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of New York. Articles VIII and IX of the state constitution establish the rights and responsibilities of the municipal governments; the New York State Constitution provides for democratically elected legislative bodies for counties, cities and villages. These legislative bodies are granted the power to enact local laws as needed in order to provide services to their citizens and fulfill their various obligations; the county is the primary administrative division of New York. There are sixty-two counties in the state. Five of the counties are boroughs of the city of New York and do not have functioning county governments. While created as subdivisions of the state meant to carry out state functions, counties are now considered municipal corporations with the power and fiscal capacity to provide an array of local government services; such services include law enforcement and public safety and health services, education.
Every county outside of New York City has a county seat, the location of county government. Nineteen counties operate under county charters, while 38 operate under the general provisions of the County Law. Although all counties have a certain latitude to govern themselves, "charter counties" are afforded greater home rule powers; the charter counties are Albany, Chautauqua, Dutchess, Herkimer, Nassau, Onondaga, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk, Tompkins and Westchester. Sixteen counties are governed through an assembly with the power of a board of supervisors, composed of the supervisors of its constituent towns and cities. In most of these counties, each supervisor's vote is weighted in accordance with the town's population in order to abide by the U. S. Supreme Court mandate of "one person, one vote". Other counties have legislative districts of equal population. Most counties in New York do not use the term "Board of Supervisors." 34 counties have a County Legislature, six counties have a Board of Legislators, one county has a Board of Representatives.
The five counties, or boroughs, of New York City are governed by a 51-member City Council. In non-charter counties, the legislative body exercises executive power as well. Although the legislature can delegate certain functions and duties to a county administrator, who acts on behalf of the legislature, the legislature must maintain ultimate control over the actions of the administrator. Many, but not all, charter counties have an elected executive, independent of the legislature. In New York, each city is a autonomous incorporated area that, with the exceptions of New York City and Geneva, is contained within one county. Cities in New York are classified by the U. S. Census Bureau as incorporated places, they provide all services to their residents and have the highest degree of home rule and taxing jurisdiction over their residents. The main difference between a city and a village is that cities are organized and governed according to their charters, which can differ among cities, while most villages are subject to a uniform statewide Village Law.
Villages are part of a town, with residents who pay taxes to and receive services from the town. Cities are neither part of nor subordinate to towns except for the city of Sherrill, which for some purposes is treated as if it were a village of the town of Vernon; some cities are surrounded by a town of the same name. There are sixty-two cities in the state; as of 2000, 54.1% of state residents were living in a city. In 1686, the English colonial governor granted the cities of New York and Albany city charters, which were recognized by the first State Constitution in 1777. All other cities have been established by act of the state legislature and have been granted a charter. Cities have been granted the power to revise the
Eminent domain, land acquisition, compulsory purchase, resumption/compulsory acquisition, or expropriation is the power of a state, provincial, or national government to take private property for public use. However, this power can be legislatively delegated by the state to municipalities, government subdivisions, or to private persons or corporations, when they are authorized by the legislature to exercise the functions of public character. In the Anglo-American historical context, property taken could be used only by the government taking the property in question; the most common uses of property taken by eminent domain have been for roads, government buildings and public utilities. However, in the mid-20th century, a new application of eminent domain was pioneered, in which the government could take the property and transfer it to a private third party; this was done only to a property, deemed "blighted" or a "development impediment", on the principle that such properties had a negative impact upon surrounding property owners, but was expanded to allow the taking of any private property when the new third-party owner could develop the property in such a way as to bring in increased tax revenues to the government.
Some jurisdictions require that the taker make an offer to purchase the subject property, before resorting to the use of eminent domain. However, once the property is taken and the judgment is final, the condemnor owns it in fee simple, may put it to uses other than those specified in the eminent domain action. Takings may be of the subject property in its entirety or in part, either quantitatively or qualitatively; the term "eminent domain" was taken from the legal treatise De jure belli ac pacis, written by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius in 1625, which used the term dominium eminens and described the power as follows:... The property of subjects is under the eminent domain of the state, so that the state or those who act for it may use and alienate and destroy such property, not only in the case of extreme necessity, in which private persons have a right over the property of others, but for ends of public utility, to which ends those who founded civil society must be supposed to have intended that private ends should give way.
But, when this is done, the state is bound to make good the loss to those. The exercise of eminent domain is not limited to real property. Condemnors may take personal property intangible property such as contract rights, trade secrets, copyrights; the taking of a professional sports team's franchise has been held by the California Supreme Court to be within the purview of the "public use" constitutional limitation, although that taking was not permitted because it was deemed to violate the interstate commerce clause of the U. S. Constitution. A taking of property must be accompanied by payment of "just compensation" to the owner. In theory, this is supposed to put the owner in the same position "pecuniarily" that he would have been in had his property not been taken, but in practice courts have limited compensation to the property's fair market value, considering its highest and best use. But though granted, this is not the exclusive measure of compensation. In most takings owners are not compensated for a variety of incidental losses caused by the taking of their property that, though incurred and demonstrable in other cases, are deemed by the courts to be noncompensable in eminent domain.
The same is true of appraisers fees. But as a matter of legislative grace rather than constitutional requirement some of these losses have been made compensable by state legislative enactments, in the U. S. may be covered by provisions of the federal Uniform Relocation Assistance Act. Most states use the term eminent domain, but some U. S. states use the term appropriation or expropriation as synonyms for the exercise of eminent domain powers. The term condemnation is used to describe the formal act of exercising this power to transfer title or some lesser interest in the subject property; the constitutionally required "just compensation" in partial takings is measured by fair market value of the part taken, plus severance damages. Where a partial taking provides economic benefits specific to the remainder, those must be deducted from severance damages; the former owners of the property receive full market value because some elements of value are deemed noncompensable in eminent domain law. The practice of condemnation came to the American colonies with the common law.
When it came time to draft the United States Constitution, differing views on eminent domain were voiced. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution requires that the taking be for a "public use" and mandates payment of "just compensation" to the owner. In federal law, Congress can take private property directly by pa
Government of Dallas
The government in Dallas, Texas is vested in the Dallas City Council and City Manager. There is the Dallas Police Department, Dallas Fire-Rescue, the Dallas municipal courts. In the 2006–2007 fiscal year, the city's total budget was $2.3 billion. The city uses a council-manager government with Mike Rawlings serving as mayor, T. C. Broadnax serving as city manager, 14 council members serving as representatives to the 14 council districts in the city; this organizational structure was contested by some in favor of a strong-mayor city charter only to be rejected by Dallas voters. Policing in Dallas is provided predominantly by the Dallas Police Department, which has around 3,100 officers; the Dallas chief of police is U. Reneé Hall; the Police Headquarters are located in the Cedars neighborhood of South Dallas. Fire protection and emergency medical services in the city are provided by Dallas Fire-Rescue, which has 1,670 firefighters and 56 working fire stations in the city limits; the Dallas Fire & Rescue chief is Sr..
The department operates the Dallas Firefighter's Museum at Dallas's oldest remaining fire station, built in 1907, along Parry Avenue near Fair Park. The city of Dallas is protected 24/7, 365 by the 1,670 paid, full-time firefighters of the city of Dallas Fire-Rescue Department, providing both fire protection and emergency medical service to the city; the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department operates out of 57 Fire Stations in 2 Divisions of 9 Battalions, located throughout the city, maintain and operate a fire apparatus fleet of 57 Engines, 21 Trucks, 40 Rescues, 3 Peak Demand Rescues, 1 Haz-Mat. Unit, 2 Haz-Mat. Teams, 2 Urban Search and Rescue Units, 9 Brush/Booster Units, 1 Marine Unit, 7 smaller Fireboats, 1 Swift Water Rescue Unit, numerous other special and reserve units. All DFD Paramedics are Firefighters. EMT-Paramedics and EMT-B's are trained through the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; the department operates the Dallas Firefighter's Museum at Dallas' oldest remaining fire station, built in 1907, along Parry Avenue near Fair Park.
In addition, the department operates in mutual aid agreements with several surrounding municipalities. In 1995, the Dallas Fire Department Training Academy began to host firefighter recruits from other Metroplex municipalities in its 22-week basic firefighter training school becoming a regional training center; the Academy is reverently known as "The Drill Tower" by instructors and graduates, referring to the facility's most taxing structure/activity, a six story tower whose staircase is climbed three times in rapid succession by recruits in full gear and high-rise hose packs. Battalion 1 is located at Fire Station #4. Division Chief 806 is located at Fire Station #55, while Division Chief 807 is located at Fire Station #1; the Swift Water Rescue Unit is located at Fire Station #34 and the Urban Search and Rescue Units are located at Fire Stations 33 and 19. The City of Dallas maintains its own municipal courts for trying Class C misdemeanors including violations of City ordinances, certain civil matters.
In the 2006–2007 fiscal year, the city's total budget was US$2,344,314,114. The city has seen a steady increase in its budget throughout its history due to sustained growth: the budget was $1,717,449,783 in 2002–2003, $1,912,845,956 in 2003–2004, $2,049,685,734 in 2004–2005 and $2,218,345,070 in 2005–2006. From 1998 until 2005, the city of Dallas has had the highest overall crime rate for the nine United States cities with over 1 million people. Violent crime in Dallas was ranked #1 during the same time period. Murders peaked at 500 in 1991, it fluctuated from 227 in 2000 to 240 in 2001, 196 in 2002, 223 in 2003, 275 in 2004, 198 in 2005, marking a sharp decline over the two previous years. However, Dallas was again ranked in 2005 as the most dangerous city out of the ten largest cities in the United States. State trial courts sitting in the City of Dallas or in adjacent portions of Dallas County with jurisdiction of matters arising in the City include civil district courts, criminal district courts, family district courts, juvenile district courts, county courts at law, county criminal courts, justice of the peace and small claims courts, probate courts.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Parole Division Region II headquarters in Dallas. The Dallas I and Dallas III district parole offices are in the same complex as the headquarters, while the Dallas IV district parole office, the Dallas IV satellite, the Dallas V district parole office are in different locations in Dallas; the Dallas II district parole office is in Garland. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which exercises original jurisdiction over 100 counties in North and West Texas, convenes in the Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse in the Government District of downtown; the same building additionally houses United States Bankruptcy and Magistrate Courts and a United States Attorney office. Dallas is the seat of the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas; the United States Post Office oper
Commissioners' court, or in Arkansas a quorum court, is the governing body of county government in three US states: Arkansas and Missouri. It is similar in function to a board of county commissioners; the principal functions of a commissioners' or quorum Court are legislative. Although referred to as courts, they exercise only limited judicial powers in Texas and Missouri and none in Arkansas; those judicial powers in Texas and Missouri include the ability to compel testimony under oath, the ability to issue citations for contempt, the ability to make findings of fact. In Arkansas the quorum court of a county is the legislative body of that county; the chief executive officer of each county is the county judge, who sits on the quorum court as a moderator but enjoys the power of veto. The county judge is in charge of the county road system, can fill in for circuit court judges in their absence; each quorum court is elected from single-member districts, with the number of commissioners depending on the population of the county.
The governing body of each of Texas's 254 counties is the commissioners court. In Texas, the court has five members: four commissioners. A sixth official, the county clerk, is an ex officio member of the court. In most instances, a simple majority of court members is sufficient to take action. Three voting members of the court constitute a quorum; the commissioners court operates similar to the "weak" mayor-council system. Counties are constitutional subdivisions of the state; as a principal institution of county government, the court's role combines elements of judicial and executive functions. Other institutions of county government include independent elected and appointed officials, such as the sheriff, independent boards, such as the board of judges; the Commissioners Courts in Texas are served and provided continued education by the County Judges and Commissioners Association events and the official association publication County Progress. In Texas, the relationship between institutions of county government is designed to be independent and adversarial.
In this framework, the principal power of the court is the power of the purse. Each year, the court adopts the county tax rate and the county budget, setting the salary and budget for independent elected officials, as well as outlining expenditures for departments under the direct control of the court; as the administrative head of county government, the court has the authority to enact county-wide policies, to the extent provided by law, to enact legislation in the form of court orders. The court exercises varying degrees of oversight over subsidiary county boards and commissioners, which may differ from county to county, but which include drainage districts, irrigation districts, housing authorities and the like. In some instances, the court may serve as the board of directors for these special districts or authorities, as well as fulfill the role of county school board; each voting member of the court has one vote. The county judge serves as the presiding officer of the commissioners court, while the county clerk is charged with keeping the minutes of the court, attesting any actions it make take.
State law requires, except in cases of emergency, that an agenda of the items to be considered by the court be posted at least 72 hours prior to its meeting. Among counties, the process for placing items on the agenda, posting it, varies with the task most falling to the county judge, the county clerk, or a specially appointed court clerk. Additionally, state law provides that the court must designate its term, or the time and interval at which it will sit, at the beginning of each fiscal year. Any meeting not held according to the term is considered a special meeting. Legal precedent provides that no action taken by the court may bind the county beyond the term of the court. In addition to their roles on the court, the county judge, county commissioners and county clerk each have independent roles to play within county government; the county judge serves as the chief administrator of the county, as the presiding judge for justice and county courts. In some counties, the county judge exercises judicial functions as a probate and/or county court judge.
In cases where county judges do not conduct judicial functions, they retain the power to conduct marriages and may be called upon to conduct administrative hearings, such as those pertaining to liquor license applications. Additionally, the county judge is a statutory member of several important boards, including the juvenile board and the county election commission; the judge is designated by a long-standing executive order of the governor, pursuant to the Texas Disaster Act of 1974, as the executive officer for civil defense within the county. The county judge is elected county wide to a four-year term coinciding with the term of the governor; each of the four county commissioners represents an area of the county, or precinct, designed to be equal in population to each of the other such areas. In addition to serving as voting members of the court, county commissioners are charged with overseeing county roads and bridges within their precinct, are sometimes responsible for solid waste collection and other services within the precinct.
In rural counties, the role of the county commissioner outside of the commissioners court tends to be quite substantial, while in urban counties, the delivery of county services is consolidated in county-wide departments, with the bulk of a commissioner's time being devoted t
Houston City Hall
The Houston City Hall building is the headquarters of the City of Houston's municipal government. Constructed during 1938 and 1939, the City Hall complex is located on Bagby Street on the western side of Downtown Houston, it is surrounded by the Houston Skyline District and is similar in design to dozens of other city halls built in the southwest United States during the same time period. City Hall is flanked by the Houston Public Library; the designed structure featured many construction details that have helped to make this building an architectural classic. From 1841 to 1939, Houston's municipal government was headquartered at Old Market Square, it was destroyed by fire in the 1870s, in 1901, rebuilt each time. In those days, City Hall was part of the lively commercial atmosphere of the Square. However, by the 1920s, the city leaders decided. In 1929, the city's planning commission urged the establishment of a civic center around a downtown park, Herman Square. However, the Great Depression sidetracked the plans for the new center.
When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted the Works Progress Administration program, the city applied for a WPA grant to help finance the construction of a new City Hall. The grant was approved, construction began in March 1938, continuing for 20 months. Joseph Finger had designed the city hall building in a stripped classical style, he wanted to place on the front terrace statues of John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen, but the City of Houston lacked the funds needed to add the statues. The statues would have cost $8,000 and the city was still suffering from the Great Depression; the Texas Star Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas discovered this fact from reading a November 1939 article of the Scripps Howard Houston Press and publicized it in 2010. The statue project was dropped by the DRT chapter and the Oran M. Roberts Chapter 440, UDC, stepped in and raised the funds to have the Allen Brothers statues commissioned and cast in bronze. On July 15, 2008, world-renowned surgeon Dr. Michael E. Debakey lay in repose in Houston City Hall after he died the previous Friday due to natural causes, the first such honor for any deceased resident of the city.
The Mayor of Houston and City Controller have their offices in this building. Council Members have their offices across the street at the City Hall Annex building. Tuesdays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays at 9:00am, Houston City Council meets in the chamber. All meetings are open to the public. Beginning in October 2013, 12,000 Square feet of space on the West side of the first floor was renovated for use by HTV Houston Television; the renovations were overseen by Balfour Beatty Construction and were completed on March 14, 2014. The architect of the City Hall was Joseph Finger, an Austrian-born Texan architect responsible for a number of Houston-area landmarks; the design on the lobby floor depicts the protective role of government. In the grillwork above the main entrances are medallions of "great lawgivers" from ancient times to the founding of America, including Thomas Jefferson, Julius Caesar and Moses, an outdated city seal adorns the interior doorknobs; the building is faced with Texas Cordova limestone, the doors to the building are of a specially cast aluminum.
The lobby is walled with veined marble. The gateways to the Tax Department are inlaid with bronze and silver; the elevator lobbies are treated with marble base and wainscoting. Above the lobby entrance is a stone sculpture depicting two men taming a wild horse, meant to symbolize a community coming together to form a government to tame the world around them; the plaster cast for this sculpture, twenty-seven casts for friezes around the building, were done by Beaumont artist Herring Coe and co-designer Raoul Josset. The front of the city hall building steps down to a small park and Martha Hermann Square, dominated by a reflecting pool; this was at one time the homestead of George H. Hermann, for whom Hermann Park in the Museum District is named. Hermann Square contains a simple, but regal elegance and is used for festivals and concerts. To accommodate larger events, the reflecting pool is planked over and tents and kiosks are erected. Although there is some speculation about whether or not people are allowed to stay in the park overnite the Parks Department says that people are not permitted to sleep there.
The city attorney's office stated in a 1987 Houston Chronicle that the police are not to arrest anyone sleeping in the park. Houston City Hall at CityMayors.com A collection of historical photographs about Houston, nearby communities, more can be found at the University of Houston Digital Library
San Antonio the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731; the area was still part of the Spanish Empire, of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality; the city's deep history is contrasted with its rapid recent growth during the past few decades. It was the fastest-growing of the top ten largest cities in the United States from 2000 to 2010, the second from 1990 to 2000. Straddling the regional divide between South and Central Texas, San Antonio anchors the southwestern corner of an urban megaregion colloquially known as the "Texas Triangle". San Antonio serves as the seat of Bexar County. Since San Antonio was founded during the Spanish Colonial Era, it has a church in its center, on the main civic plaza in front, a characteristic of many Spanish-founded cities and villages in Spain and Latin America.
As with many other urban centers in the Southwestern United States, areas outside the city limits are sparsely populated. San Antonio is the center of the San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan statistical area. Called Greater San Antonio, the metro area has a population of 2,473,974 based on the 2017 U. S. census estimate, making it the 24th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in Texas. Growth along the Interstate 35 and Interstate 10 corridors to the north and east make it that the metropolitan area will continue to expand. San Antonio was named by a 1691 Spanish expedition for Saint Anthony of Padua, whose feast day is June 13; the city contains five 18th-century Spanish frontier missions, including The Alamo and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which together were designated UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2015. Other notable attractions include the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, SeaWorld, the Alamo Bowl, Marriage Island. Commercial entertainment includes Morgan's Wonderland amusement parks.
According to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city is visited by about 32 million tourists a year. It is home to the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, hosts the annual San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, one of the largest such events in the U. S; the U. S. Armed Forces have numerous facilities around San Antonio. Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base, Lackland AFB/Kelly Field Annex, Camp Bullis, Camp Stanley are outside the city limits. Kelly Air Force Base operated out of San Antonio until 2001, when the airfield was transferred to Lackland AFB; the remaining parts of the base were developed as Port San Antonio, an industrial/business park and aerospace complex. San Antonio is home to six Fortune 500 companies and the South Texas Medical Center, the only medical research and care provider in the South Texas region. At the time of European encounter, Payaya Indians lived near the San Antonio River Valley in the San Pedro Springs area, they called the vicinity Yanaguana, meaning "refreshing waters".
In 1691, a group of Spanish explorers and missionaries came upon the river and Payaya settlement on June 13, the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, they named the river "San Antonio" in his honor. It was years. Father Antonio de Olivares visited the site in 1709, he was determined to found a mission and civilian settlement there; the viceroy gave formal approval for a combined mission and presidio in late 1716, as he wanted to forestall any French expansion into the area from their colony of La Louisiane to the east, as well as prevent illegal trading with the Payaya. He directed the governor of Coahuila y Tejas, to establish the mission complex. Differences between Alarcón and Olivares resulted in delays, construction did not start until 1718. Olivares built, with the help of the Payaya Indians, the Misión de San Antonio de Valero, the Presidio San Antonio de Bexar, the bridge that connected both, the Acequia Madre de Valero; the families who clustered around the presidio and mission were the start of Villa de Béjar, destined to become the most important town in Spanish Texas.
On May 1, the governor transferred ownership of the Mission San Antonio de Valero to Fray Antonio de Olivares. On May 5, 1718 he commissioned the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar on the west side of the San Antonio River, one-fourth league from the mission. On February 14, 1719, the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo proposed to the king of Spain that 400 families be transported from the Canary Islands, Galicia, or Havana to populate the province of Texas, his plan was approved, notice was given the Canary Islanders to furnish 200 families. By June 1730, 25 families had reached Cuba, 10 families had been sent to Veracruz before orders from Spain came to stop the re-settlement. Under the leadership of Juan Leal Goraz, the group marched overland from Veracruz to the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar, where they arrived on March 9, 1731. Due to marriages along the way, the party now included a total of 56 persons, they joined the military community established in 1718. The immigrants f
Education in Texas
Texas has over 1,000 public school districts—all but one of the school districts in Texas are independent, separate from any form of municipal government. School districts may cross county boundaries. Independent school districts have the power to tax their residents and to assert eminent domain over owned property; the Texas Education Agency oversees these districts, providing supplemental funding, but its jurisdiction is limited to intervening in poorly performing districts. 36 separate and distinct public universities exist in Texas, of which 32 belong to one of the six state university systems. The Carnegie Foundation classifies nine of Texas's universities as research universities with high research activity: Rice University, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Arlington, University of Houston, University of North Texas, Texas A&M University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas at El Paso, Texas Tech University. Texas has over 1,000 school districts—ranging in size from the gigantic Houston Independent School District to the Divide Independent School District in rural south Texas, which has had as few as eight students at one time in the district.
All but one of the school districts in Texas are separate from any form of municipal government, hence they are called "independent school districts", or "ISD" for short. School districts may cross county boundaries. School districts have the power to use eminent domain; the sole exception to this rule is Stafford Municipal School District, which serves all of the city of Stafford. Texas Education Agency has oversight of the public school systems as well as the charter schools; because of the independent nature of the school districts the TEA's actual jurisdiction is limited. The TEA is divided into twenty Educational Service Center "regions" that serve the local school districts; the Robin Hood plan is a controversial tax redistribution system that provides court-mandated equitable school financing for all school districts in the state. Property tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts is and distributed those in property-poor districts, in an effort to equalize the financing of all districts throughout Texas.
In the metropolitan areas, Texas has numerous private schools of all types. The TEA has no authority over private school operations. Many private schools will obtain accreditation and perform achievement tests as a means of encouraging future parents that the school is genuinely interested in educational performance, it is considered to be among the least restrictive states in which to home school. Neither TEA nor the local school district has authority to regulate home school activities. There are no minimum number of days in a year, or hours in a day, that must be met, achievement tests are not required for home school graduating seniors; the validity of home schooling was challenged in Texas, but a landmark case, Leeper v. Arlington ISD, ruled that home schooling was legal and that the state had little or no authority to regulate the practice; as of 2010 49% of children enrolled in public Pre-K through 12 primary and secondary schools in Texas are classified as Hispanic. In the decade from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2009-2010 school year, Hispanics made up 91% of the growth in the state's public K-12 schools.
The overall student body increased by 856,061 students, with 775,075 of those students being Hispanic. Although unusual in the West, school corporal punishment is not uncommon in more conservative areas of the state, with 28,569 public school students paddled in Texas at least one time during the 2011-2012 school year, according to government data; the rate of school corporal punishment in Texas is surpassed only by Mississippi and Arkansas. The is a standardized test used in Texas primary and secondary schools to assess students' attainment of reading, math and social studies skills required under Texas education standards, it is developed and scored by Pearson Educational Measurement with close supervision by the Texas Education Agency. Though created before the No Child Left Behind Act was passed, it complies with the law, it replaced the previous test, called the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills or TAKS, in 2003. TAKS, as of spring 2013 is being replaced with the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test.
Unlike TAKS, at the secondary level, STAAR tests are end of course exams. Texas's controversial alternative affirmative action plan, Texas House Bill 588, guarantees Texas students who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class automatic admission to state-funded universities; the bill encourages demographic diversity while avoiding problems stemming from the Hopwood v. Texas case. Thirty-five separate and distinct public universities exist in Texas, of which 31 belong to one of the six state university systems. Discovery of minerals on Permanent University Fund land oil, has helped fund the rapid growth of the state's two largest university systems: The University of Texas System and the Texas A&M System; the four other university systems: the University of Houston System, the University of North Texas System, the Texas State System, the Texas Tech System are not funded by the Permanent Universi