What is a District of Innovation?
House Bill 1842 was passed in the 84th Legislative Session which gives traditional school districts most of the flexibilities available to the state's open enrollment charter schools. Any district with an academic performance rating of at leat Academic Acceptable is eligible to become a District of Innovation.
The Districts of Innovation plan allows a local school district to pursue specific innovations in curriculum, instruction, governance, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budgting, or other areas. The innovation plan also allows a district the opportunity to seek exemptions from many Texas Education Code requirements resulting in more local control. A district's plan must be posted online for a minimum of 30 days and the District Advisory Committee must approve it before it could go back to the Board for approval.
Some areas where Districts of Innovation can gain flexibility include school start and ending date, minimum minutes of instruction, class size ratio, and teacher certification.
Districts of Innovation cannot be exempted from requirements including Boards of Trustees, PEIMS reporting, criminal history checks, curriculum and graduation requirements, bilingual education, special education, PreK programs, academic accountability including student assessments, financial accountability, open meetings and public records rules, and purchasing regulations.
A public survey was posted for the required minimum of 30 days to allow patrons the opportunity to ask questions, list concerns, or make comments about the proposed District of Innovation Plan. The survey was posted on 12/13/16 and closed on 1/23/17. Click here for the response document.
Dr. Brenda Duhon, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction/Technology, 409.962.8446
Dr. Mike Gonzales, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, 409.722.4244
Dr. Marc Keith, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, 409.722.5924