House Bill 1842 permits local education agencies to become Districts of Innovation and to obtain exemption from certain provisions of the Texas Education Code.

During the March 23 Judson ISD board of trustees meeting, the renewal of the District of Innovation plan for 2023-28 was unanimously approved.

Innovations within the plan include allowing the district to change the school start date, requiring certification for certain positions, allowing nonresident transfers and establishing a local health advisory council.

The plan also includes an innovation that would grant the district an exemption from providing a written notice to the Texas Education Agency regarding class sizes exceeding the 22-1 ratio.

According to the document, the district implements a 24-1 ratio practice, but there are innovation strategies in place to decrease that ratio to the required 22-1 and even 21-1.

Interim Superintendent Milton Fields said he feels the district has conditions in place that will prevent the district from reaching a ratio above 22-1.

One of the initiatives the district has implemented is to begin the registration process early, which helps staff determine when classes are beginning to fill.

With these factors, the board of trustees amended the District of Innovation plan to exclude the class size waiver exemption.

“If we find ourselves in that situation, we will do the reports that are necessary for TEA,” Fields said.