What is a "District of Innovation"?
In the spring of 2015, during the 84th Texas legislative session, House Bill 1842 (HB 1842) was passed. The bill affords Texas public school districts the opportunity to become a “District of Innovation.” A District of Innovation allows for traditional independent school districts to have most of the flexibilities available to Texas' open-enrollment charter schools.
By becoming a District of Innovation, a school district can:
- Exercise greater local control over decisions impacting instructional models for students;
- Experience increased flexibility with regards to state accountability and mandates; and,
- Develop innovative approaches to teaching and learning
To become a District of Innovation, a school district must adopt an innovation plan, as set forth in Texas Education Code chapter 12A.
Flexibilities Available Under District of Innovation
There are 9 major flexibilities plus additional flexibility that could be granted if a district chose to develop something not listed in the 9 areas.
- Uniform School Start & End Date
- 90% Attendance Rule (Compulsory Attendance would still apply)
- Site-Based Decision Making Processes
- Teacher Certification
- Class Size Ratio
- Teacher Appraisal Requirements
- Teacher Benefits
- Teacher Contracts
- Student's Discipline
Donna ISD is only considering items 1 and 2. No other flexibilities are up for consideration.