What is a District of Innovation?
During the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature (Spring 2015), the legislature passed an amendment to Chapter 12 of the Texas Education Code (TEC). The amendment created Districts of Innovation (DOI) and outlined specific processes for becoming a DOI. Only Districts who have at least an “acceptable performance” on the most recent performance rating are eligible. Each DOI plan is unique to that specific District and is created through a process which includes a public hearing, involvement by a committee (FISD chose to include community members as well as staff members), a public posting of the proposed plan for 30 days, and approval of the plan by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership of the board. The plan may be in place up to five years. The designation allows the District to be exempt from certain sections of the Texas Education Code (similar to a Charter School). This designation will allow FISD to make adjustments in some procedures which directly or indirectly hinder our purpose of providing the very best education.
What is Forsan ISD trying to accomplish?
The specific rules from which FISD is seeking relief are listed below. Generally, FISD hopes to provide a school calendar which provides traditional holiday breaks for families, and which maximizes the amount of educational time prior to state mandated testing. FISD is also looking to make adjustments in state requirements in order to return decision making to the local school board so that unique student and community needs may be met. (See notes with each exemption listed below).
For more information regarding Districts of Innovation, please refer to the links below:
TEA’s website with information in regards to becoming a District of Innovation:
The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) website contains extensive information on the subject matter and also lists districts that have applied for the distinction.