What is a "District of Innovation?"
An exciting opportunity! A District of Innovation (DOI) is a concept passed by the 84th Texas Legislature that gives traditional independent school districts most of the flexibilities available to open enrollment charter schools, including exemption from many requirements mandated in the Texas Education Code. To create a DOI, a school district must adopt an innovation plan for its district.>
Why Choose a District of Innovation?
Freedom to make decisions about Keller ISD at the local level. A local school district may want to pursue specific innovations in curriculum, instruction, governance, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budgeting, or other ideas. Essentially, innovation plans are about local control. Keller ISD’s innovation plan will be unique to the school district and the community.
Is there a Funding Impact?
Not a direct one. School district funding will remain the same for Keller ISD when it becomes a DOI. Depending on the innovation plan, the District may have some flexibility in the use of compensatory education funds. As a DOI, Keller ISD has the ability to pursue flexibility choices, especially with respect to the school calendar and attendance, which could impact funding calculations positively.
What Impact Could Designation as a District of Innovation Have on District Policy?
Policy changes will correlate with innovation plan changes. As a DOI, revisions to local policies may be required as well as adjustments to legal policies to reflect that some legal provisions may be affected by the District’s innovation plan. As the innovation plan is sculpted by the committee, the District will evaluate necessary changes to Keller ISD policies.
How Long Does an Innovation Plan Stay in Effect?
Hopefully as long as it benefits the District! Under current law, the plan may have a term of up to five years, and it may be amended, rescinded, or renewed during that time period.
What Areas of Flexibility Can KISD Consider in Its District of Innovation Journey?
A District of Innovation may adopt a plan that includes exemptions from most of the same state laws that are not applicable to open enrollment school districts. These laws could include:
- Uniform school start date
- Class size ratio
- Minimum minutes of instruction
- The 90 percent attendance rule (but compulsory attendance still applies)
- Student discipline provisions (with some key exceptions, like the requirement to have a code of conduct and restrictions on restraint and seclusion)
- Teacher appraisal system
- Teacher certification (except as required by federal law)
- Teacher contracts
- Teacher benefits
- Site-based decision making processes (to the extent required by state law)
Not all of these possibilities will be right for Keller ISD. It us up to the DOI committee to determine what laws to exempt ourselves from and which to leave in place.
Who's on the Committee?
The DOI Committee includes:
- Teacher representatives from each feeder pattern; each horizontal level
- Campus Admin Representatives from each horizontal level
- Representatives from each Cabinet Function
- Representatives from Education Support Function
- Representatives from each Leadership Function Department
- Parent Representatives from each feeder pattern
- Community/Business Representatives
- College/University Representatives
- Local Civic Officials
- Teacher Rep, Prof Orgs
- Individual members as recommended by Board Trustees
- Civic Organizations
- KISD Trustees
Committee meetings will be open to the public, and we invite all members of our community to be part of this process.