Overview of Innovation Policy for Districts

Districts today have unprecedented opportunities to innovate to meet the needs of students. And, with chartered schools and inter-district open enrollment now part of the education landscape, pressure is growing to do so.

Districts in Minnesota are rising to this challenge. They are giving teachers and schools opportunities to innovate with more relevant, engaging, and purposeful learning programs that are attractive to students and families.

This section of our website provides school districts—their teachers, administrators, board members, and parents—information about the provisions in Minnesota law that enable and encourage innovation within districts.

Use the links below or the menu on the right to browse.

Site-Governed Schools

Minnesota law provides schools, districts, and unions a way to jointly agree to formalize a school’s autonomy, and exempt them from many state laws and regulations.

Teacher-Governed Schools Grants

In 2016, the Minnesota Legislature amended the site-governed schools law by adding a grant program for schools governed by groups of teachers (i.e. teacher-powered).

Innovation Zones

Minnesota law allows two or more school districts to form an “Innovation Zone”, to collaborate and share resources. EE is working to increase the autonomy and flexibility given to schools and districts in the Zones.

Districts as Charter Authorizers

Minnesota’s charter law allows school districts to serve as authorizers of chartered schools. Some districts use authorizing as one tool for providing a diverse variety of schools to their students.