Public education in Washington

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K-12 Education in Washington
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Randy Dorn
Number of students: 1,045,453[1]
Number of teachers: 53,119
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:19.7
Number of school districts: 316
Number of schools: 2,365
Graduation rate: 77%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $9,483[3]
See also
Washington Department of Education
Washington school districts
List of school districts in Washington
Washington
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Washington
Glossary of education terms
The Washington public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Washington had 1,045,453 students enrolled in a total of 2,365 schools in 316 school districts. While the national ratio of teachers to students was 1:16, in Washington there were 53,119 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 20 students. There was roughly one administrator for every 373 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Washington spent $9,483 per pupil in 2011, which ranked it 30th in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 77 percent in 2012. This was the Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate reported to the United States Department of Education for all students in 2011-2012.[5]

State agencies

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State Education Departments

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See also
Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction
Washington school districts
List of school districts in Washington
Public education in Washington
School board elections portal
The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction oversees K-12 public education in the state. The office is led by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.[6] Randy Dorn was first elected to the position in 2008.[7]

The Washington State Board of Education has 16 statutory members. Five members are elected by school board members, two from eastern Washington and three from western Washington, and seven members are appointed by the governor. There is one private school representative on the Board of Education who is elected by members of state-approved private schools. The Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction also serves on the State Board of Education and is elected to the position by all voters of the state. All these positions have full voting rights on all matters brought to the Board of Education. The last two members, two high school students, one from western Washington and one from eastern Washington, are nonvoting members. They are selected to serve by the Washington Association of Student Councils.[8]

The mission statement of the Washington State Board of Education reads:[9]

The mission of the State Board of Education is to lead the development of state policy, provide system oversight, and advocate for student success.[10]

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn adopted these standards on July 20, 2011.[11] Washington started a four-phase implementation strategy to incorporate the Common Core State Standards during the 2011-2012 school year. The standards will be fully implemented during the 2014-2015 school year.[12]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Washington compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional Comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Washington 2,365 316 1,045,453 53,119 1:19.7 1:373.1 $9,483
Idaho 762 149 279,873 15,990 1:17.5 1:422.5 $6,824
Montana 826 500 142,349 10,153 1:14.0 1:274.0 $10,639
Oregon 1,261 221 568,208 26,791 1:21.2 1:364.8 $9,682
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Washington as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[13]

Demographic Information for Washington's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 15,850 1.52% 1.10%
Asian 74,574 7.13% 4.68%
African American 47,715 4.56% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 9,308 0.89% 0.42%
Hispanic 205,031 19.61% 24.37%
White 629,898 60.25% 51.21%
Two or More 63,077 6.03% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

A plurality of students in Washington attend suburban schools. This is different from students of neighboring states. In Idaho and Montana, students are more likely to attend rural schools than suburban schools, and in Oregon, students are more likely to attend city schools than suburban schools.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural Schools
Washington 29.1% 41.1% 12.3% 17.5%
Idaho 27.5% 15.9% 20.8% 35.8%
Montana 23.8% 1.9% 35.0% 39.4%
Oregon 32.6% 23.3% 26.3% 17.8%
U.S. average 28.9% 34.0% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to three neighboring states (Idaho, Montana, and Oregon), Washington had the highest percentage of students score at or above proficient in math and reading in fourth grade and eighth grade.[14]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Washington 48 42 40 42
Idaho 40 36 33 38
Montana 45 40 35 40
Oregon 40 34 33 37
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state and ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates and average composite ACT and SAT scores for Washington and surrounding states.[14][15][16]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores*
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile ranking** Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Washington 77% Fourth 22.9 21% 1537 60%
Idaho 92% First 21.6 67% 1364 99%
Montana 84% Second 22 61% 1595 25%
Oregon 68% Fifth 21.4 38% 1539 49%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1498
*Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
**Graduation rates for states in the first quintile ranked in the top 20 percent nationally. Similarly, graduation rates for states in the fifth quintile ranked in the bottom 20 percent nationally.
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Washington was higher than the national average at 4.0 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 3.8 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[17]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Washington

School choice options in Washington include: homeschooling, online learning, private schools and two mandatory public school open enrollment policies.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Washington state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 22.9 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is down 0.2 percentage points, a 0.9 percent decrease in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 23.1 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[18][19][20][21][22] Over half of Washington's education revenue comes from state funding. Local funding accounts for just over 31 percent, and federal funding accounts for nearly 12 percent.

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Washington 22.9% $9,483 11.57% 57.2% 31.23%
Idaho 25.7% $6,824 13.91% 63.73% 22.36%
Montana 15.5% $10,639 16.35% 44.1% 39.55%
Oregon 14% $9,682 14% 46.07% 39.93%
Sources:NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Washington totaled approximately $11.8 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Washington and surrounding states.[23]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Washington $1,367,629 $6,758,505 $3,690,190 $11,816,324
Idaho $299,354 $1,371,789 $481,296 $2,152,439
Montana $264,594 $713,886 $640,138 $1,618,618
Oregon $848,637 $2,792,762 $2,420,619 $6,062,018
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Washington totaled approximately $11.9 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Washington and surrounding states.[23]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Washington $9,890,471 $1,467,334 $530,786 $11,888,591
Idaho $1,867,679 $85,001 $65,674 $2,018,354
Montana $1,506,467 $103,728 $25,691 $1,635,886
Oregon $5,418,357 $461,979 $325,080 $6,205,416
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Washington, the average salary decreased by 4.5 percent.[24]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Washington $56,089 $56,578 $53,101 $53,571 -4.5%
Idaho $48,578 $49,404 $49,359 $49,734 2.4%
Montana $43,896 $48,845 $49,354 $49,999 13.9%
Oregon $57,856 $58,948 $58,302 $58,758 1.6%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Washington ranked 10th overall, or strongest, which was in the first tier of five.[25]

The main union related to the Washington school system is the Washington Education Association (WEA), an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA). WEA is the largest education association in the state. The second largest union is AFT Washington, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

List of local Washington school unions:[26]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Washington government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Washington State School Directors' Association. Another government sector lobbying organization is the Washington Association of School Personnel Administrators.

Transparency

The Washington State Fiscal Information site is available here. It was created in 2008 after Senate Bill 6818 was passed, mandating that such a website be implemented by January 1, 2009.[27]

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Washington ballot measures

Ballotpedia staff have tracked 39 statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Washington $30 per Schoolchild, Initiative 46 (1922)
  2. Washington Bonds for Community Colleges, Referendum 31 (1972)
  3. Washington Bonds for Public School Facilities, Referendum 14 (1966)
  4. Washington Bonds for Public University Construction, Referendum 9 (1950)
  5. Washington Bonds for School Construction, Referendum 7 (1950)
  6. Washington Bonds for State Institutions, Referendum 10 (1958)
  7. Washington Bonds of Public School Facilities, Referendum 12 (1964)
  8. Washington Charter School Authorization, Referendum 55 (2004)
  9. Washington Charter School Initiative, Initiative 1240 (2012)
  10. Washington Charter Schools, Initiative 177 (1996)
  11. Washington Charter Schools Act, Initiative 729 (2000)
  12. Washington Class Size Reduction Measure, Initiative 1351 (2014)
  13. Washington Common School Construction Fund, SJR 22, Part 1 (1966)
  14. Washington Compulsory Schooling, Initiative 49 (1924)
  15. Washington Corporate Excise Tax to Replace School Levies, Initiative 314 (1975)
  16. Washington Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Teachers, Initiative 732 (2000)
  17. Washington Education Trust Fund Sales Tax Increase, Initiative 884 (2004)
  18. Washington Excess School Taxes, SJR 137 (1976)
  19. Washington Four-Year Tax Levies, HJR 4208 (1997)
  20. Washington Governmental Assistance for Students, HJR 22 (1975)
  21. Washington Income Tax for Schools, Initiative 69 (1932)
  22. Washington Investment of Permanent School Fund, SJR 22, Part 2 (1966)
  23. Washington Investment of Public University Funds, Substitute HJR 4215 (2007)
  24. Washington Non-Partisan Elections for School Superintendents, Initiative 126 (1938)
  25. Washington Permanent School Fund, Amendment 1 (1894)
  26. Washington Physical Examination of School Children, Referendum 13 (1922)
  27. Washington Prohibition on Unnecessary Busing of Students, Initiative 350 (1978)
  28. Washington Property Tax Levy for Schools, HJR 4220 (1987)
  29. Washington Public University Investments Amendment, SJR 8223 (2012)
  30. Washington Scholarship Vouchers, Initiative 173 (1996)
  31. Washington School Class Sizes Act, Initiative 728 (2000)
  32. Washington School District Debt, SJR 8206 (1999)
  33. Washington School District Indebtedness Limits, HJR 10 (1950)
  34. Washington School District Indebtedness Limits, HJR 8 (1952)
  35. Washington Simple Majority for Excess School Tax Levies, Substitute HJR 4204 (2007)
  36. Washington Six Year Tax Levies for School Districts, HJR 55 (1986)
  37. Washington Tax Levy Periods for Schools, Substitute HJR 4 (1958)
  38. Washington Teacher's Retirement Fund, Referendum 1 (1914)
  39. Washington Voter Approval of Excess School Tax Levies, HJR 22 (1985)

Studies and reports

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

Recent news

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All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Washington Education News Feed

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See also

External links

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, "About OSPI," accessed June 4, 2014
  7. State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, "About Randy Dorn: Superintendent of Public Instruction," accessed June 4, 2014
  8. Washington State Board of Education, "Composition," accessed June 4, 2014
  9. Washington State Board of Education, "Mission & Vision," accessed June 4, 2014
  10. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  11. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
  12. State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, "Transition to New Standards," accessed June 17, 2014
  13. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  16. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  17. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  18. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  20. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  21. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  22. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  24. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  25. Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  26. Center for Union Facts, "Washington teachers unions," accessed November 4, 2009
  27. Washington State Legislature, "Washington Senate Bill 6818, Promoting Transparency in State Expenditures," March 11, 2008