What Is a District of Innovation?
A District of Innovation is a concept passed by the 84th Legislative Session in House Bill 1842 giving traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to the state’s open-enrollment charter schools. Any district with a high rating in academic and financial performance is eligible.
The idea behind Districts of Innovation is that a local school district may want to pursue specific innovations in curriculum, instruction, governance, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budgeting, or other areas. An innovation plan allows a district to gain exemption from many Texas Education Code requirements, thus gaining more local control. Each innovation plan is expected to be unique to each school district, allowing for local values and goals to be incorporated into the plan that are responsive to that community’s needs.
Hardin-Jefferson ISD took the first step in exploring this opportunity when the Board approved a resolution initiating the process in August. The Board then held a public hearing to consider whether the district should develop an innovation plan, at which time the Board decided to move forward in the process. A committee was appointed to develop an innovation plan. The plan must be posted online for at least 30 days and the District Leadership Committee would have to approve it before it could go back to the Board for final approval.
If you are interested in more information, please join the District Leadership Committee on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, at 5:00pm in the High School Commons for a public meeting on the proposed District of Innovation Plan. Questions and community input are encouraged.