Houston ISD committee shoots down District of Innovation plan

The District Advisory Committee for Houston ISD voted down an administration proposal seeking District of Innovation status. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
The District Advisory Committee for Houston ISD voted down an administration proposal seeking District of Innovation status. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)

The District Advisory Committee for Houston ISD voted down an administration proposal seeking District of Innovation status. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)

Editor's note: An earlier report published by Community Impact Newspaper in the Bellaire-Meyerland-West University edition erroneously indicated the committee vote had passed and that the plan would proceed to the board of trustees for final approval.

The Houston ISD District Advisory Committee has refused to endorse a detailed proposal for giving the district more flexibility under some state policies.

The District of Innovation plan, in the works for months, had been crafted to seek three exemptions to three Texas Education Agency rules, including setting an earlier start date for the school year, exempting some students from the 90% attendance rule and allowing teachers without certifications to be hired in certain positions.

After a public hearing March 25, the committee, which is composed of faculty, staff and parents, voted down the proposal. While the hearing was broadcast live, the result of the vote was not made available to Community Impact Newspaper until March 30. The district's webpage for the plan, which included the draft proposal, meeting minutes and public feedback, has also been removed.

The fate of the innovation plan was not immediately clear, and district officials were unable to provide comment March 30.


The plan itself was developed through a separate District of Innovation Committee with one representative for each trustee district and six HISD staff members, and more than 80 other stakeholders were consulted during focus group sessions as well.

“For such a large district, I think we’ve had pretty representative and really strong feedback in the process,” said August Hamilton, a manager in the strategy and innovation office, told Community Impact Newspaper in an interview before the advisory committee vote.

If the plan had been approved by the advisory committee, the board of trustees would have been next to give the plan a vote before it could be implemented.