District of Innovation Plan
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 open-enrollment charter schools in Texas. Chapter 12 A of the Texas Education Code and TEA Rules specify allowable and prohibited exemptions for district consideration. Potential benefits of becoming a District of Innovation include:
Local Control: Districts can select the “allowable” flexibilities that best suit their local needs.
Customization: Districts can create a district-wide innovation plan, a “single campus” innovation plan, or an innovation plan for a particular level (e.g., only secondary, only elementary)
Autonomy: Districts must submit a District of Innovation Plan to the Commissioner of Education for review; but approval is not required.
Flexibility: Districts have the flexibility to implement practices similar to charter schools, including exemptions from certain Texas Education Code mandates.