District of Innovation
The 84th Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1842 in the spring of 2015, providing public school districts the opportunity to become Districts of Innovation. To qualify, an eligible school district (one whose most recent academic performance rating is at least acceptable) must adopt an up to five-year innovation plan according to the Texas Education Code. HEB ISD is utilizing HB 1842 in order to obtain more local control in various areas that will make teaching and learning more impactful for every student's needs.
Districts of Innovation may be exempt from state statutes in order to:
- Take greater local control in decision-making about the educational and instructional models for students;
- Access increased autonomy from state mandates that govern educational programming;
- Be empowered to innovate and plan differently to maximize student success;
- Decide on which flexibilities suit local needs and implement practices similar to charter schools including mandates such as: school start date, 90% attendance rule, class-size ratios, and teacher certification.
By taking advantage of some of the flexibility allowed through HB 1842, HEB ISD can ensure increased opportunities for student success. This includes avoiding fully and partially unfunded mandates that interfere with effective, efficient use of taxpayer dollars for educating students, as well as providing teachers and staff the environment, capabilities, and empowerment to innovate and think differently in order to meet every student’s needs.
By becoming a District of Innovation, HEB ISD can better ensure that our vision of empowering today to excel tomorrow will become a reality for every student in our district. This plan will advance innovative curriculum and instructional practices to meet every student’s needs; enhance community and parental ownership of decisions impacting our students; hire and retain the absolute best teachers and leaders; and increase local governance of campuses. HEB ISD’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution on September 12, 2016, initiating the process of considering the District of Innovation designation for HEB ISD. We formed a committee including teachers, parents, students, and local community members. The District of Innovation Committee evaluated the items proposed for the plan and formed the final Local Innovation Plan. The Plan was approved by the District of Innovation Committee and the Board of Trustees on January 23, 2017.