Your Questions Answered: TX schools starting earlier

Districts of Innovation is specialized designation

SAN ANTONIO – A viewer contacted KSAT recently as part of our San Antonio Questions project and wanted to know why schools are starting early.

The question referred to a state law passed several years ago that limited how early schools could resume the academic year.

The short answer: Districts of Innovation

A District of Innovation, as defined by Texas House Bill 1842, is a special designation that exempts school districts from certain sections of the Texas Education Code.

The exemption acts as a sort of loophole and allows school districts to use their innovation status to start school earlier than the state law allows.

These San Antonio area schools received F's in TEA accountability ratings

Texas law says schools aren't allowed to start until the fourth Monday in August, which is Aug. 26 this year.

According to the Texas Education Agency website, the District of Innovation designation cannot exceed five years.

Some of the local school districts with the District of Innovation designation include:

  • Edgewood ISD
  • South San Antonio ISD
  • Southwest ISD
  • Alamo Heights ISD
  • Judon ISD
  • Boerne ISD
  • San Antonio ISD
  • North East ISD
  • East Central ISD
  • Schertz Cibolo Universal City ISD

For a full list of District of Innovation districts, click here.

What grade did your school get from Texas Education Agency?

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT including the Austin bombings, the mass shooting at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, the Dallas police ambush and Hurricane Harvey.