Pflugerville ISD school board approves District of Innovation plan, includes change to school start date, teacher service days

Three Pflugerville ISD board of trustees places are up for election this spring.

Three Pflugerville ISD board of trustees places are up for election this spring.

The Pflugerville ISD school board voted unanimously to approve a proposed District of Innovation plan at a special meeting March 1. The District of Innovation plan was developed over several months with coordination between teachers, faculty and community members.

The next and final step in the process is to notify the Texas Education Agency of the board’s approval.

According to Texas state law, a District of Innovation allows traditional school districts most of the flexibilities available to open-enrollment charter schools in Texas.

Pflugerville ISD’s plan allows the district to start the school year earlier than the fourth Monday of August and allows for more flexibility in the required number of school days for 10-month contract teachers. The start date would be decided with input from teachers, faculty and the community, and must remain within the month of August, according to the plan.

The goal of changing the school start date is to even out the distribution of days in fall and spring semesters, as explained in a presentation of the plan delivered to the board of trustees on Feb. 15.

Ten-month contract employees would no longer be held to a statewide standard of 187 service days. Instead, the district would be able to include extracurricular leadership and professional development days in the number of days required for a 10-month contract employee.

At the Jan. 31 Pflugerville ISD board of trustees meeting where the proposed plan was released, Brandy Baker, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said the change in service days required would help the district attract teachers.

“The contract service days exemption would help us with teacher recruitment and retention and could lead to more professional development opportunities during the summer months,” she said.

Any change in number of required days must not result in a reduction of teacher wages and must be budget neutral, according to the plan.

View the full plan here.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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