District of Innovation Information

Statutory Requirements

HB 1842 (2015) created the law that allows for the designation of Districts of Innovation (DOI). The law can be found in Chapter 12A of the Texas Education Code (TEC). This chapter provides that a traditional school district that is rated acceptable or better may create a district-level innovation plan, potentially including exemptions from the vast majority of the TEC, which constitutes the state’s regulatory framework and statutory safety net for public schools.

Districts of Innovation may be exempted from a number of state statutes and will have:

  • greater local control as the decision makers over the educational and instructional model for students;
  • increased freedom and flexibility, with accountability, relative to state mandates that govern educational programming; and
  • empowerment to innovate and think differently.

HB 1842 specifies that “a local innovation plan must provide for a comprehensive educational program for the district, which may include:

  • innovative curriculum, instructional methods, and provisions regarding community participation, campus governance, and parental involvement;
  • modifications to the school day or year;
  • provisions regarding the district budget and sustainable program funding;
  • accountability and assessment measures that exceed the requirements of state and federal law; and
  • any other innovations prescribed by the Board of Trustees.”

A district may become a DOI by following these steps as laid out in statute:

  1. The district’s Board of Trustees adopts a resolution to consider becoming a DOI, or receives a petition signed by a majority of the members of the district-level planning committee established under TEC 11.251.
  2. The Board holds a public hearing to consider becoming a DOI.
  3. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board either:
    • Declines to pursue the designation or
    • Appoints a committee to develop a local innovation plan in accordance with TEC 12A.003.
  4. The committee then drafts a local innovation plan that must provide for a district-wide comprehensive educational program.
    • Identify requirements imposed by the TEC that inhibit the goals of the plan from which the district should be exempted; the exemptions sought by the district cannot include statutes that are identified as non-exemptible under TEC 12A.004.
  5. The final version of the proposed innovation plan must be posted on the district’s website for 30 days.
  6. The Board must notify the Commissioner of its intention to vote on adoption of the proposed innovation plan.
  7. The district-level planning committee established under TEC 11.251 must consider the final version of the innovation plan in a public meeting and approve it by a majority vote.
  8. Upon conclusion of the 30-day posting period and after the affirmative vote of the district-level planning committee, the full Board may adopt the proposed plan by a two-thirds vote.


Timeline of Events to Approve DOI Plan

During the January 11, 2017, Regular Board Meeting, the West ISD Board of Trustees approved the Resolution to begin the District of Innovation process and work. The Board approved the Resolution 7-0.

During the February 8, 2017, Regular Board Meeting, the West ISD Board of Trustees held the Public Hearing and formed the District of Innovation Advisory Team. On February 21, 2017, David Truitt, Superintendent, notified the Commissioner of Education via email of West ISD's intent to study and possibly create a DOI plan.

The District of Innovation Advisory Team met on the following dates:

  • Monday, March 20, 2017, at 6:30 PM at West Middle/High School
  • Monday, March 27, 2017, at 6:30 PM at West Middle/High School
  • Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 6:30 PM at West Middle/High School

During the April 6, 2017, District of Innovation Advisory Team Meeting, the proposed West ISD DOI Plan was approved by a 20-0 vote by the DOI Advisory Team. Each team member signed off on the plan.

Per TEC §12A.005 (a)(1), the DOI Plan was posted to the West ISD website at www.westisd.net for 30 days. The plan was posted from Friday, April 7, 2017, through Monday, May 8, 2017.

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, a Public Hearing was held during the Regular Board Meeting to present and answer questions about the DOI Plan. Also on this night, the West ISD Board of Trustees approved the DOI Plan by a vote of 7-0. David Truitt, Superintendent, notified the Commissioner of Education via email of West ISD’s intent to vote on the proposed DOI Plan. This plan will go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.  

 

Timeline of Events to Approve Amended DOI Plan

During the February 12, 2020, Regular Board Meeting, the West ISD Board of Trustees heard a proposal by Charles Mikeska, Assistant Superintendent, on a possible amendment to the approved DOI Plan from May 10, 2017. The amendment centered on the possibility of West ISD exploring a new employee healthcare program. The amendment language is located here.

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Charles Mikeska, Assistant Superintendent, presented the amendment information to the West ISD District Advisory Team (DAT) for discussion and Q&A time. On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, David Truitt, Superintendent, presented the amendment information to the remaining members of the 2016-2017 DOI Advisory Team. During this meeting, the DOI Advisory Team voted and agreed to move forward with amending the DOI Plan from May 10, 2017, to include the possible new employee healthcare plan language. Each DAT and DOI Team member signed off on the plan.

The proposed amendment was reviewed by the West ISD Board of Trustees during the Wednesday, March 4, 2020, Regular Board Meeting. Per TEC §12A.005 (a)(1), the DOI proposed amendment was posted to the West ISD website at www.westisd.net for 30 days. The plan was posted from Thursday, March 5, 2020, through Friday, April 3, 2020.

During the Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Regular Board Meeting via Zoom Conference, the Public Hearing was held during the Regular Board Meeting to present and answer questions about the DOI Plan. Also on this night, the West ISD Board of Trustees approved the DOI Plan by a vote of 7-0. David Truitt, Superintendent, notified the Commissioner of Education via email of West ISD’s intent to vote on the proposed DOI Plan. This amended plan will go into effect for the 2020-2021 school year. 

The final, amended DOI Plan is now located on the following TEA website: Districts of Innovation


All meetings were open to the public. All meeting materials are posted on this site. 
For additional information, please contact David Truitt, Superintendent, at (254) 981-2000.