Texas Education Code Chapter 12A, Districts of Innovation, establishes a process by which school districts can become “districts of innovation.” A district of innovation (DOI) is a school district that has complied with the provisions of Chapter 12A to exempt themselves from provisions in the Texas Education Code that are not required of open-enrollment charter schools. This legislation was an effort by the 84th Texas Legislature to level the playing field between school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. As a DOI, a school district’s board of trustees gains greater local control in its decision-making. DOI districts are also better positioned to be innovative and forward-thinking while continuing to comply with the state’s fiscal, instructional, and academic accountability requirements.
In 2016, Conroe ISD (CISD or District) became a DOI and exempted itself from Texas Education Code §25.0811 First Day of Instruction. In 2020, the District added an additional provision to its DOI plan, Texas Education Code §21.003 Certification Required. To maintain its DOI designation, the District must review and update its DOI plan every five years.
To begin the renewal process and update its DOI plan, the District held a public hearing at the November 14, 2023, meeting of the Conroe ISD Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to initiate the process of renewing the District’s DOI designation and designated the District-Level Planning and Decision-Making Committee (DLPDMC), which includes teachers, administrators, parents, and community members, as the committee to develop the DOI plan.
The DOI Committee met on January 10, 2024, and approved the following plan for posting on the District’s website. Comments about the plan were accepted for 30 days via the web beginning January 12, 2024. The DOI Committee reviewed the submitted comments and held an open meeting on February 14, 2024. No changes were made to the plan as a result of the comments. The Board of Trustees approved the plan at its February 20, 2024, meeting. The District will notify the commissioner as required by Chapter 12A. The DOI Plan will be in place for five years.