Hearing to be held Nov. 14 following adoption of resolution
A public hearing will be held Nov. 14 as Fort Bend ISD considers whether to pursue becoming a District of Innovation.
During its regular board meeting on Oct. 17, the FBISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to initiate the process.
The District of Innovation (DOI) concept, passed by the 84th Legislature, would allow FBISD to operate in a more flexible way to meet the needs its students, based on the desires of the local community and the board of trustees. There are a number of state mandates that may be waived by becoming a District of Innovation, such as the state’s uniform start date. Currently, the state dictates when districts may begin the school the year, but by becoming a District of Innovation, FBISD could determine when to start the school year based on the needs and desires of the community.
In accordance with procedures set by the TEA, should Fort Bend ISD move forward following the Nov. 14 hearing, a Local Innovation Committee, made up of a variety of stakeholders, will be formed to help develop a Local Innovation Plan. Some examples of other exemptions allowed include the length of the school day, class size and educator certification.
“What exemptions Fort Bend ISD pursues will be determined by the Local Innovation Committee, with the opportunity for public input,” said Beth Martinez, FBISD chief of staff and strategic planning.
“Should the district proceed, the development of the local innovation plan would be concurrent with the strategic planning process, so that tools would be readily available to implement the district’s strategic plan once it is complete.”
An updated timeline presented to the board of trustees reflects possible board action in March of 2017, should the district move forward.
The resolution adopted on Oct. 17 is similar to a resolution previously adopted in August; however, following that resolution, the Texas Education Agency provided public school districts updated rules regarding the DOI process. The most significant change is a requirement of the public hearing within 30 days – prompting FBISD’s second resolution.
The Nov. 14 hearing will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the board room at the FBISD Administration Building, 16431 Lexington Boulevard Sugar Land.