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AISD moves forward with innovation district

Friday, September 30, 2016 by Courtney Griffin

On Monday, the Austin Independent School District board of trustees gave staff the go-ahead to begin moving forward with possibly implementing a new state designation, campus or district-wide. The new designation was created in the last legislative session and allows a public school district to become a “District of Innovation.” This designation gives school districts greater flexibility, akin to what is currently available to open-enrollment charter schools. A school or district with the designation may adopt a plan that exempts it from certain requirements of state law, including those related to school start date, school day, class size, attendance rules, discipline procedures, contracts and appraisals. By approving the measure at Monday’s board meeting, trustees have agreed to take the next step in the process. Now, the board is required to schedule a public hearing to discuss the proposed change within 30 days of the resolution’s approval. A district-wide committee will then be developed to create a plan that includes more details regarding potential designated campuses and/or what change in requirements those campuses will be implementing. This plan must then be approved by a two-thirds majority of the board before it is considered final.

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