district of innovation header

A District of Innovation

  • 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:

    • 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 mandates such as:
      • School start date
      • 90% attendance rule
      • Class-size ratios
      • Site-based decision-making processes
      • Certain student discipline provisions
      • Use of planning and preparation periods
      • Teacher appraisal requirements

Areas of Focus

  • Teacher Certification (TEC 21.003) DK Legal, DK Local, DK Exhibit

  • Alternative Education Setting Exemption: (TEC Code 25.081, HB 2610)

  • Minimum Minutes of Instruction (TEC Code 25.081, HB 2610)

  • Calendar (EB legal, Ed.Code 25.0811)

  • Planning and Preparation Time (TEC 21.404)

  • Probationary Contracts (TEC §21.102)

  • Minimum Attendance for Class Credit or Final Grade (TEC §25.092)

  • Teacher Contract Days (TEC 21.401) DCB Legal, DCB Local

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What impact could designation as a District of Innovation have on district policy?

  • How long does an innovation plan stay in effect?

  • What process is required to adopt an innovation plan?

  • Can a District of Innovation be created to respond to needs or opportunities at a particular subset of campuses?

  • What impact could innovations have on school personnel?

  • Will innovation plans have to be approved by the Texas Education Agency?

  • What legal requirements will continue to apply to all school districts, including Districts of Innovation?

  • What legal requirements could a school district avoid by becoming a District of Innovation?

  • Why would a school district choose to pursue this option?

  • What school districts are eligible to be Districts of Innovation?

  • What impact could innovations have on school funding?

  • What is a "District of Innovation"?

Committee Members

  • Kevin Worthy

    RCISD

    Superintendent

    Julia Robinson

    RCISD

    Assistant Superintendent

    Kenny Kaye Hudson

    RCISD

    Assistant Superintendent

    Adi Bryant

    RCISD

    Chief Communication Officer

    Jeff Webb

    RCISD

    Associate Superintendent

    Nikki Steele

    RCHS

    Associate Principal

    Jere Craighead

    RCMS

    Principal

    Richard Pense

    Cherry

    Principal

    Shannon Hayes

    Vernon

    Principal

    Lloyd Blaine

    ALC

    Director of Student Services

    Linda Taylor

    RCHS

    Lead Counselor

    Jennifer Martin

    RCMS

    Counselor

    Shane Aultman

    Fort

    Teacher

    Deshaun Smith

    Davis

    Teacher

    Crystal Martin

    Scott

    Teacher

    Nellie Gilbert

    Vernon

    Teacher

    James Riemenschneider

    Herndon

    Teacher

    Jodi Goodman

    Cherry

    Teacher

    Emily Hays

    RCMS

    Teacher

    Kathleen Krumnow

    RCHS

    Teacher

    Bobbi Pereida

    ALC

    Teacher