District of Innovation
The District of Innovation concept became law in 2015 with the creation of Texas
Education Code, Chapter 12A. District of Innovation status allows a school district to
access the same flexibilities available to Texas open enrollment charter schools. In
order to become a District of Innovation, a school district must adopt an innovation plan
and its most recent academic performance rating must be at least acceptable.
A local school district may want to pursue specific innovations in curriculum, instruction,
governance, parent or community involvement, school calendar, budgeting or a number
of other areas. Essentially, innovation plans are about local control and provide flexibility
to achieve a district’s goals. Community members should note that each innovation plan
is unique to the local school district and no two plans may look the same.
In 2017, the Friendswood ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously for FISD to
become a District of Innovation (DOI). Since then, FISD has leveraged the increased
flexibility and local control afforded by this status. Texas public school districts are
required to renew their District of Innovation status every five years. In March 2021,
FISD took this opportunity to not only renew its plan, but also amend it.