House Bill 1842 was passed in the 84th Legislative Session which gives traditional school districts most of the flexibilities available to the state's open enrollment charter schools. Any district with an academic performance rating of at least Academic Acceptable is eligible to become a District of Innovation (DoI).
The Districts of Innovation (DoI) plan allows a local school district to pursue specific innovations in curriculum, instruction, governance, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budgeting, or other areas. The innovation plan also allows a district the opportunity to seek exemptions from many Texas Education Code requirements resulting in more local control. Each innovation plan is expected to be unique to each school district. A district's plan must be posted online for a minimum of 30 days and the District Advisory Committee must approve it before it could go back to the Board for approval.
Some areas where Districts of Innovation can gain flexibility include school start and ending date, minimum minutes of instruction, class size ratio, and teacher certification.
Districts of Innovation cannot be exempted from requirements including Boards of Trustees, PEIMS reporting, criminal history checks, curriculum and graduation requirements, bilingual education, special education, PreK programs, academic accountability including student assessments, financial accountability, open meetings and public records rules, and purchasing regulations.
In the 83rd Legislative Session, the Legislature passed House Bill 5 relating to public school accountability, including assessment and curriculum requirements. Within the bill, Section 46 required each district to assign a performance rating of exemplary, recognized, acceptable, or unacceptable for the district and each of its campuses for overall performance and nine individual factors.
Texas Education Code 11.253 (c) requires that each school year, the principal of each school campus, with the assistance of the campus-level committee, shall develop, review, and revise the campus improvement plan for the purpose of improving student performance for all student populations with respect to the student achievement indicators and any other appropriate performance measures for special needs populations.
BQ (LEGAL) states the Board shall adopt a policy to establish a District/campus-level planning and decision-making process that will involve the professional staff of the District, parents of students enrolled in the District,business representatives, and community members in establishing and reviewing the District’s educational plans, goals,performance objectives, and major classroom instructional programs.Education Code 11.251(b)
Chapter 313 Agreements
The 2009 Legislature’s HB 3676 requires the Comptroller’s office to post certain documents related to Tax Code Chapter 313 value-limitation applications and agreements on its website within 15 days of their creation or receipt.
HB 3676 also requires school districts to provide the Comptroller with any applications or application amendments within seven days of their receipt, for posting on the Comptroller’s website. The districts also must provide a link to the Comptroller’s web page on their own websites.