County Government (HS)

Lesson Plan

There are 3,069 county governments in the United States, each acting as a critical bridge between the state governments and the people. This lesson covers the diversity in county government structure, duties and services as well as the budgeting process. Students will investigate the impact of unfunded mandates, work to balance a county budget, and research their own county government.

Curriculum Connections: Don't just teach about county government. Let your students experience it! Explore our project-based action civics unit County Solutions - High School.

(Looking for similar middle school resources? Click here.)

This resource was created with support from the National Association of Counties.


  • Identify the organizational structures and duties of county government
  • Define Dillon’s Rule and home rule
  • Describe the types of services counties provide
  • Compare counties’ revenue sources and simulate balancing a county budget
  • Analyze the benefits and challenges of unfunded mandates on county governments


Downloadable Resources

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