Districts of Innovation

H.B. 1842 (84th Session of the Texas Legislature) in part amended Chapter 12 of the Texas Education Code (TEC) to create Districts of Innovation.

Information about Districts of Innovation including Texas Education Code statutes, authorization, plans, adoption, and term is available on the Texas Education Agency website.

The process leading up to the writing of the local innovation plan is organized into the flow chart below.

district-of-innovation-flow-chart-001

The plan written by the Innovation Plan Committee provides for a comprehensive educational program for the district which may include:

  • innovative curriculum, instructional methods, and provisions regarding community participation, campus governance, and parental involvement;
  • modifications to the school day or year;
  • provisions regarding the district budget and sustainable program funding; •
  • accountability and assessment measures that exceed the requirements of state and federal law; and
  • any other innovations prescribed by the board of trustees; and

identifies requirements imposed by this code that inhibit the goals of the plan and from which the district should be exempted on adoption of the plan.

Next steps following writing of the plan are organized in the image below.

district-of-innovation-flow-chart-002

Prohibited exemptions include (but are not limited to):

  • District Governance
  • Curriculum
  • State Assessment System
  • State Accountability System
  • School Finance
  • Federal Requirement
  • Other requirements in state law outside of the Education Code

Allowable exemptions include (but are not limited to):

  • Educator Certification
  • Teacher Contracts
  • First and Last Day of School
  • Length of School Day
  • Class Size
  • Certain Purchasing and Contract Requirements

Need inspiration or have questions?  Consider reaching out to the following districts who have notified TEA they have adopted a local innovation plan and are designated as an Innovation District:

Big Spring ISD, Birdville ISD, Bronte ISD, Bryson ISD, Canton ISD, Childress ISD, Coppell ISD, Crowell ISD, Dripping Springs ISD, El Paso ISD, Era ISD, Friona ISD, Godley ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Gruver ISD, Harlingen CISD, Hardin-Jefferson ISD, Huffman ISD, Humble ISD, Huntington ISD, Kaufman ISD, Keene ISD, Kemp ISD, Los Fresnos CISD, Lytle ISD, Mabank ISD, Manor ISD, Mansfield ISD, Martin’s Mill ISD, Memphis ISD, Mineola ISD, Nazareth ISD, Northside ISD, Palmer ISD, Pearland ISD, Plano ISD, Point Isabel ISD, Red Oak ISD, Roby CISD, Roscoe Collegiate ISD, Rotan ISD, Round Rock ISD, San Antonio ISD, Slidell ISD, Spring Branch ISD, Terrell ISD, Van ISD, Victoria ISD


Within Article V: Organizational Transformation of Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas we read:

Operating and social systems exist in all organizations including schools. Transforming these systems is the only way to transform schools into the type of organization needed.

The policies, practices, and functions of the district’s operational and social systems such as policy development, Board leadership, personnel/hiring systems, budgeting, training effectively support the core work of teaching and learning as described in the new vision. The district has proactively examined all policies and practices to remove barriers to quality services and supports to schools as they work toward realizing the new vision.

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