District of Innovation Basics
What is a “District of Innovation?”
The District of Innovation concept, passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842, gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open-enrollment charter schools.
What can a District of Innovation do?
Potential benefits of becoming a District of Innovation
- Local control: Districts decide which flexibilities best suit their local needs.
- Customization: Districts can create an innovation plan for a level of school (e.g., only high schools), grade level, or a single campus.
- Autonomy: Districts must submit a district of innovation plan to the commissioner of education, but approval is not required.
- Flexibility: Districts will have the flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from mandates such as:
- School start date
- 90% attendance rule
- Class-size ratios
- Site-based decision-making processes
- Certain student discipline provisions
- Use of planning and preparation periods
- Teacher appraisal requirements