Process to Become a District of Innovation Flow Chart Opens a New Window.
The process is initiated by either:
Promptly after the resolution or petition, the board must hold a public hearing to consider whether the district should develop an innovation plan. Under TEA’s proposed rules, a board must hold the public hearing as soon as possible, but no later than the next scheduled board of trustees meeting, to consider whether the district should develop a local innovation plan. The board’s resolution may outline the parameters around which the innovation committee may develop the plan.
At the conclusion of the hearing or soon thereafter, the board may:
The membership of the committee is not specified in the statute, but as a practical matter, the members of the committee must be able to write a comprehensive plan with the elements specified below, clearly articulate the purpose of the plan, and persuade the school community of the value of the plan.
The plan must:
The board cannot approve the plan until the final plan has been posted online for 30 days, the commissioner has been notified, the district-level advisory committee (DAC) has held a public meeting to consider the final plan, and the DAC has approved the plan by a majority vote. The public hearing and vote of the DAC may occur at the same meeting.
The board of trustees may then vote to approve the plan. The vote must pass by a two- thirds majority vote. The district may then function in accordance with the plan and be exempt from the specified Texas Education Code mandates.
Districts are encouraged to use an abundance of caution throughout the adoption process to adhere to Chapter 12A, TEA rules, and state laws regarding open meetings and open records. Questions will inevitably arise about the application of the Texas Open Meetings Act to committee meetings and meetings of the DAC. School districts should consult their school attorneys regularly and keep the process as transparent as possible to avoid legal challenges that could delay the implementation of an innovation plan.
- a resolution of the board of trustees; or
- a petition signed by a majority of the members of the district-level advisory committee.
- decline to pursue the designation as a District of Innovation; or
- appoint a committee to develop a plan.
- provide for a comprehensive educational program for the district which may include innovations in curriculum, instructional methods, community and parent involvement, campus governance, modifications to the school day or year, budgeting and sustainable funding, local accountability, and other innovations prescribed by the board; and
- identify the Texas Education Code provisions from which the District of Innovation should be exempted, within the parameters described above.