(a) The innovation plan of a local school system shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:

Terms Used In Alabama Code 16-6D-6. Innovation plan

  • contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • state: The word "state," when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
  • year: means a calendar year; but, whenever the word "year" is used in reference to any appropriations for the payment of money out of the treasury, it shall mean fiscal year. See Alabama Code 1-1-1

(1) The school year that the local school system expects the school flexibility contract to begin.

(2) The list of state laws, regulations, and policies, including rules, regulations, and policies promulgated by the State Board of Education and the State Department of Education, that the local school system is seeking to waive in its school flexibility contract.

(3) A list of schools included in the innovation plan of the local school system.

(b) A local school system is accountable to the state for the performance of all schools in its system, including innovative schools, under state and federal accountability requirements.

(c) A local school system may not, pursuant to this chapter, waive requirements imposed by federal law, requirements related to the health and safety of students or employees, requirements imposed by ethics laws, requirements imposed by the Alabama Child Protection Act of 1999, Chapter 22A of this title, requirements imposed by open records or open meetings laws, requirements related to financial or academic reporting or transparency, requirements designed to protect the civil rights of students or employees, requirements related to the state retirement system or state health insurance plan, or requirements imposed by Act 2012-482. This chapter may not be construed to allow a local school system to compensate an employee at an annual amount that is less than the amount the employee would otherwise be afforded through the State Minimum Salary Schedule included in the annual Education Trust Fund Appropriations Act. No local school system shall involuntarily remove any rights or privileges acquired by any employee under the Students First Act of 2011, Chapter 24C of this title. Except as provided for a failing school pursuant to subsection (e), no plan or program submitted by a local board of education may be used to deny any right or privilege granted to a new employee pursuant to the Students First Act of 2011.

(d) No provision of this chapter shall be construed or shall be used to authorize the formation of a charter school.

(e) Any provision of subsection (c) to the contrary notwithstanding, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the approval of a flexibility contract that gives potential, current, or future employees of a failing school within the local school system the option to voluntarily waive any rights or privileges already acquired or that could potentially be acquired as a result of attaining tenure or nonprobationary status, provided, however, that any employee provided this option is also provided the option of retaining or potentially obtaining any rights or privileges provided under the Students First Act, Chapter 24C of this title.

(f) The State Department of Education shall finalize all school data and the local school system shall seek approval of the local board of education before final submission to the State Department of Education and the State Board of Education.

(g) The final innovation plan, as recommended by the local superintendent of education and approved by the local board of education, shall accompany the formal submission of the local school system to the State Department of Education.

(h) Within 60 days of receiving the final submission, the State Superintendent of Education shall decide whether or not the school flexibility contract and the innovation plan should be approved. If the State Superintendent of Education denies a school flexibility contract and innovation plan, he or she shall provide a written explanation for his or her decision to the local board of education. Likewise, a written letter of approval by the State Superintendent of Education shall be provided to the local board of education that submitted the final school flexibility contract and innovation plan.

(i) The State Board of Education shall promulgate any necessary rules and regulations required to implement this chapter including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(1) The specification of timelines for submission and approval of the innovation plan and school flexibility contract of a local school system.

(2) An authorization for the State Department of Education, upon approval by the State Board of Education after periodic review, to revoke a school flexibility contract for noncompliance or nonperformance, or both, by a local school system.

(3) An outline of procedures and necessary steps that a local school system shall follow, upon denial of an original submission, to amend and resubmit an innovation plan and school flexibility contract for approval.

(Act 2013-64, p. 112, §6.)