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Board approves District of Innovation plan

board of trustees voting
The Board of Trustees unanimously votes to approve a District of Innovation plan during the Jan. 18 Board meeting.

Feb. 2, 2024—The CFISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a District of Innovation (DOI) plan during its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 18.

Passed into law in 2015 when the 84th Texas Legislature created the Texas Education Code Chapter 12A, Districts of Innovation, the DOI plans remove legal requirement barriers for school districts. Plans may be amended or renewed based on the following:

  • Majority vote of the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council (DEIC);
  • Two-thirds majority vote of the Board; and/or
  • Notice to TEA of the exemptions and approval dates.

A total of 968 districts in Texas currently have a DOI plan.

Following an initial Board hearing in October 2023, the DEIC was formed as the DOI committee, meeting throughout the fall and voting unanimously on the plan to take to the Board in January. The plan allows for increased flexibility for the district calendar committee, which gathered community via a survey through Feb. 2.

Texas Education Code 25.0811 prohibits school districts from beginning instruction prior to the fourth Monday in August. A DOI exemption allows for an adjusted start date wherein districts can balance the amount of instruction time per semester and provide more flexible professional development opportunities for staff. The proposed 2024-2025 calendar will go before the Board at the Feb. 8 work session.

The DOI plan will also allow for additional flexibility in certifications, including:

  • expedited approval process for hiring a career and technical education (CTE) teacher;
  • allowing certified teachers to provide instruction in classes outside of their content area or grade span with principal recommendation; and
  • expedited approval process for hiring teachers who are certified out-of-state.

“I commend the Board of Trustees on its decision to make Cypress-Fairbanks ISD a District of Innovation,” said Dr. Doug Killian, superintendent of schools. “This plan will allow the district to increase our local control and remain competitive with hiring quality teachers going forward. I would also like to thank the DOI committee members for all their work and consideration along with the comments and concerns we received from the community and staff to consider and address in our implementation.”

View the detailed approved plan on the CFISD website.

Learn more about Districts of Innovation on the TEA website.