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* 18 years of age or older
* 18 years of age or older
* A registered voter in the school district
* A registered voter in the school district
* A resident and registered voter in the desired board district if the board is not at-large
* A resident and registered voter in the desired board district if board seats are not elected at-large
* A citizen of the United States  
* A citizen of the United States  
* A resident of Washington
* A resident of Washington

Revision as of 13:52, 9 July 2014

K-12 Education in Washington
Flag of Washington.png
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 EducationWashington school districtsList of school districts in WashingtonWashingtonSchool boards portal
Education policy logo.jpg
Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Washington
Glossary of education terms

Washington is home to 316 school districts, 2,365 schools and 1,045,453 K-12 students.[4]

Quick facts

State school administrators

  • State Board of Education[5]
    • Dr. Kristina Mayer, Chair, Position 6
    • Dr. Deborah J. Wilds, Vice-Chair, Position 1
    • Tre' Maxie, Position 2
    • Connie Fletcher, Position 3
    • Holly Koon, Position 4
    • Isabel Munoz-Colon, Position 5
    • Jeff Estes, Position 7
    • Cynthia McMullen, Region 1
    • Dan Plung, Region 2
    • Kevin Laverty, Region 3
    • Bob Hughes, Region 4
    • Peter Maier, Region 5
    • Judy Jennings, Private Schools Representative
    • Randy Dorn, State Superintendent


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.[6]

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.

In the news

McCleary v. Washington

The case of McCleary v. Washington decided by the Washington State Supreme Court in January 2012 challenged the state's funding to public schools. Matthew and Stephanie McCleary along with the Network for Excellence in Washington Schools challenged the state under Article IX, Section I of the Washington State Constitution, which states, "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex."[7] A unanimous order by the court determined that the state violated this constitutional provision and that a report would be required in September 2012 to show progress toward adequate funding by 2018.[8] A legislative committee issued a report in September 2012 as required by court order. The report concluded that legislative actions to avoid further cuts and slowly progress toward education budget reforms complied with the court's judgement.[9]

A related case in 2013 involved the constitutionality of Initiative 1185, an initiative passed in 2012 that would require a two-thirds majority vote in the Washington State Legislature to raise taxes. The League of Education Voters pursued a lawsuit against the state to overturn the initiative as unconstitutional and detrimental to the mandate in the McCleary case. The Court struck down Initiative 1185 on February 28, 2013 with a 6-3 vote. The majority opinion concluded that the initiative broke with Article II, Section 22 of the Washington State Constitution, which states that a majority of votes were required for a bill's passage. The three dissenting judges in League of Education of Voters v. Washington argued that the majority was exceeding its authority by wading into political issues.[10]

School board elections

Upcoming elections

See also: Washington school board elections, 2014

No top enrollment districts in Washington are scheduled to hold elections in 2014.

Path to the ballot

To qualify for the ballot as a school board candidate in Washington, a person must be:[11]

  • 18 years of age or older
  • A registered voter in the school district
  • A resident and registered voter in the desired board district if board seats are not elected at-large
  • A citizen of the United States
  • A resident of Washington

State law also prohibits school board members from having direct or indirect financial interests in contracts held by the district exceeding $1,500 per month.[11]

A Declaration of Candidacy is filed with the county auditor during the first week of June in an odd-numbered year.[11]

Campaign finance

School board candidates and board members are required to file financial disclosure reports with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission. The reporting process begins with pre-election reports and continues as long as a board member remains in office.[11]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  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, "2012 EDFacts State Profile," accessed August 8, 2013
  5. Washington State Board of Education, "Board Members," accessed June 13, 2014
  6. 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
  7. Washington State Legislature, "Washington State Constitution," accessed October 4, 2013
  8. Washington Courts, "McCleary Order," July 18, 2012
  9. The News Tribune, "State gets incomplete in first McCleary report," September 20, 2012
  10. New York Times, "Washington State’s Top Court Strikes Down Law on Taxes," February 28, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Washington State School Directors' Association, "Running for school board," accessed July 9, 2014