Site-based decision-making committees — at both the district and campus level — were designed to ensure that teachers, parents and community members have an active voice in local education matters. Teacher representatives on the committees are to be elected by the teachers of the district/campus. The committees may develop an appraisal process and performance criteria for district teachers, and must be consulted if the district adopts a local process and criteria for appraisal instead of using the process recommended by the commissioner of education. Most importantly, the district committee must approve any District of Innovation plan. Since a DOI plan can eliminate basic rights, it is critical that the district committee’s composition complies with the law.
A district seeking a waiver from rule or law must submit to the commissioner an application and written comments from either the campus- or district-level committee. The superintendent must regularly consult with the district-level committee, and the principal must regularly consult with the campus-level committee.
The Texas Legislature has provided specific procedures for the selection and composition of the district-level committee. At least two-thirds of the elected professional staff representatives must be classroom teachers. If practicable, the committee also shall include at least one professional staff representative primarily responsible for educating students with disabilities. The professional staff representatives on the committee must be nominated and elected by the professional staff of the district. Board policy also must provide procedures for the selection of parents to the committee, as well as community members and business representatives, in a manner that provides for appropriate representation of the community’s diversity. Members should review district policies for specific committee requirements.
District-level committees also assist the superintendent in developing, reviewing and annually revising the district’s improvement plan. The plan must include provisions for a comprehensive needs assessment addressing student performance, measurable district performance objectives and strategies for improving student performance.
Campus-level committees assist the principal in developing, reviewing and revising the campus improvement plan. The committee is to be involved in decisions in the areas of planning, budgeting, curriculum, staffing patterns, staff development and school organization. Staff development must be primarily campus-based and developed and approved by the campus-level committee. Districtwide staff development may be used only if it is developed and approved through the district-level site-based decision-making process.