Districts of Innovation

What is a District of Innovation?

The laws authorizing Districts of Innovation (DOI) gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibility available to Texas’ open-enrollment charter schools.

What can a District of Innovation do?

Potential benefits of becoming a DOI include:

  • Local control: Districts decide which flexibility best suits 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
  • Class-size ratios
  • Site-based decision-making processes
  • Certain student discipline provisions
  • Teacher appraisal requirements

What is the process?

As you start to formulate ideas for your district, here are a few additional resources that can help you through the process:

  1. Refer to the Districts of Innovation Overview (pdf)
  2. Review the Steps to Become a District of Innovation
  3. Modify the Sample Resolution (pdf) for your board to adopt. This is the first step toward becoming a District of Innovation.
  4. Address exemptions in local policies as described in Districts of Innovation Plan Tips and Policy Development 
  5. Renewing your District of Innovation Plan (pdf) before it expires.

What are other districts doing?

The Texas Education Agency maintains a chart for school districts that have adopted an innovation plan. The District of Innovation chart includes links to the specific plans.

Need help?

If you have questions about information on this website, please contact TASB Legal Services at 800.580.5345 or legal@tasb.org.

For more information relating to Districts of Innovation, please contact TASB Legal Services at 800.580.5345 or e-mail your questions to legal@tasb.org.