District of Innovation - Final Approved Plan (approved 12.12.16)
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.
Potential benefits of becoming a District of Innovation include:
The Gunter ISD District of Innovation Committee reviewed the possible exemptions and focused on four main areas: School Start Date, Teacher Certification, Minimum Minutes of Instruction for Pre-K, and Teacher Contract Length.
- 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 certain mandates