Difference between revisions of "Washington school districts"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(District types)
(Quick facts)
Line 21: Line 21:
** Judy Jennings, ''Private Schools Representative''
** Judy Jennings, ''Private Schools Representative''
** [[Randy Dorn]], ''[[Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction|State Superintendent]]''
** [[Randy Dorn]], ''[[Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction|State Superintendent]]''
The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.<ref>[http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/elsi/tableGenerator.aspx ''National Center for Education Statistics,'' "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014]</ref>
{| class="wikitable sortable"
! style="background-color:#00008B; color: white;" | Enrollment, 2011-2012
| 1.) [[Seattle Public Schools, Washington|Seattle Public Schools]]
| 2.) [[Spokane Public Schools, Washington|Spokane Public Schools]]
| 3.) [[Tacoma Public Schools, Washington|Tacoma Public Schools]]
| 4.) [[Kent School District, Washington|Kent School District]]
| 5.) [[Evergreen School District, Washington|Evergreen School District]]
| 6.) [[Lake Washington School District, Washington|Lake Washington School District]]
| 7.) [[Vancouver School District, Washington|Vancouver School District]]
| 8.) [[Federal Way School District, Washington|Federal Way School District]]
| 9.) [[Puyallup School District, Washington|Puyallup School District]]
| 10.) [[Edmonds School District, Washington|Edmonds School District]]

Revision as of 09:57, 11 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


The following table displays the state's top 10 school districts by total student enrollment.[6]

Enrollment, 2011-2012
1.) Seattle Public Schools
2.) Spokane Public Schools
3.) Tacoma Public Schools
4.) Kent School District
5.) Evergreen School District
6.) Lake Washington School District
7.) Vancouver School District
8.) Federal Way School District
9.) Puyallup School District
10.) Edmonds School District


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.[7]

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."[8] 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

State law

School board composition

Washington school board members are generally elected by residents of the school district, although some school board members are appointed to fill vacancies until the next election for the seat is held. Washington school board elections typically follow one of these two methods:[12]

  • At-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, regardless of geographic location.
  • Director area at-large: All voters residing in the school district may vote for any candidates running, but candidates must reside in specific geographic areas within the school district.

School boards consist of five members except Seattle Public Schools, which has a seven-member board. Board members serve four-year terms on a staggered basis, with an election held every two years.[12]

District types

School districts in Washington typically serve students in a single city or set of neighboring cities. Rural school districts are typically single-building districts serving communities with less than 1,000 residents.[12][13]

Term limits

Washington does not impose statewide term limits on school board members. However, terms limits on school board members can still be imposed on the local level.[12]

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:[12]

  • 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.[12]

A Declaration of Candidacy is filed with the county auditor during the first week of June in an odd-numbered year.[12]

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.[12]

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. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 11, 2014
  7. 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
  8. Washington State Legislature, "Washington State Constitution," accessed October 4, 2013
  9. Washington Courts, "McCleary Order," July 18, 2012
  10. The News Tribune, "State gets incomplete in first McCleary report," September 20, 2012
  11. New York Times, "Washington State’s Top Court Strikes Down Law on Taxes," February 28, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Washington State School Directors' Association, "Running for school board," accessed July 9, 2014
  13. Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, "School District Map," accessed July 10, 2014