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San Felipe Del Rio

Telephone (830) 778-4010 November 20, 2017


SFDRCISD Board of Trustees Adopts Resolution to Become a District of Innovation

November 20, 2017– The San Felipe Del Rio CISD Board of Trustees adopted a Resolution during its regular meeting held on November 13th, initiating the process to become a District of Innovation. The District of Innovation is a concept passed into law by the 84th Legislature (HB1842), which provides opportunities to school districts to access flexibilities typically offered only to open enrollment charter schools.

Potential benefits of becoming a District of Innovation include the ability for school districts to seek designation as a District of Innovation under Texas Education Code 12A. Such a designation allows a school district to access exemptions from certain requirements of state law. Some permissible exemptions include an exemption from the required school start date (state law requires school to start on the 4th Monday in August), the school end date (not earlier than May 15th), minimum minutes of instruction; teacher contracts, and some exemptions for teacher certification requirements. Laws from which a school district cannot seek exemption include federal and state statutes such as bilingual education, special education, and prekindergarten. Essentially, innovation plans are uniquely developed to allow districts to have the flexibility they need for implementing state requirements.

The next step in the District of Innovation process involves a Public Hearing before the San Felipe Del Rio CISD Board on Monday, December 18, 2017 at the Student Performance Center and Administration Building to determine whether the Board will decline to pursue designation as a District of Innovation or appoint a committee to develop a local innovation plan that complies with the relevant state law. Once appointed, the District Advisory Committee will meet to develop a local innovation plan. When the plan is complete, it must be posted online for 30 days, sent to the commissioner, and a public hearing is held by the District Advisory Committee and approves the plan by majority vote. The board may then vote and approve the final proposed innovation plan by a two thirds majority in a subsequent meeting.

Upon board approval, the district becomes a District of Innovation and may begin operating in accordance with the local innovation plan, exempt from the identified provisions of the Education Code. Currently, nothing in the law requires the Commissioner to approve a district’s local innovation plan, however, the Commissioner must be notified of the Board’s decision. The plan would be in effect for up to 5 years; and revisions to the plan may be made by following the same public hearing and vote processes.