Educational Organizations
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Partners in Education

Together with OSPI, the following state and independent agencies, associations and organizations work toward the common goal of student achievement in Washington state.

State Government

Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO)
The Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) resolves complaints, disputes, and problems between families and elementary and secondary public schools in all areas that affect student learning. The Office of the Education Ombuds functions independently from the public school system and provide an alternative to costly lawsuits and administrative hearings. Their services are available to students from Kindergarten to 12th grade, and are free and confidential.

Department of Early Learning
The Department of Early Learning is a Cabinet-level agency created by the Governor in 2006. DEL focuses on children's earliest years of life, offering information and resources for parents. Among its responsibilities, DEL sets the rules for the state's 7,400 licensed child care settings.

The Washington State Legislature sets policy and budget for K-12 education. There are several legislative committees: Basic Education Finance (Joint Committee), Education Appropriations (House), Early Learning and K-12 Education (Senate), School Construction Funding (Joint) and Comprehensive School Health Reform (Joint). Other education committees, independent of K-12, are Early Learning and Children's Services (House), Higher Education (House), and Higher Education and Workforce Development (Senate).

Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB)
PESB is comprised of OSPI and 12 members appointed by the Governor for four-year terms. PESB serves as an advisory body to the state superintendent on issues related to educator recruitment, hiring, mentoring and support, professional growth, retention, evaluation, and revocation and suspension of licensure. PESB establishes state policies and requirements for the preparation and certification of education professionals.

Quality Education Council (QEC)
The purpose of the QEC is to develop strategic recommendations for implementation of a new definition of Basic Education that will include its financial support. The QEC was created by the Legislature by Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2261 of 2009. In addition to guiding implementation of the bill, the QEC must also develop strategic recommendations and update those every four years. The council includes a representative from OSPI.

State Board of Education (SBE)
The Washington State Board of Education's role in the K-12 system is to lead the development of state policy, provide system oversight, and advocate for student success. Among its duties, the 16-member board establishes graduation requirements, defines high school credits, approves private schools for accreditation and sets the state assessment passing scores. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is one of 16 statutory Board members.

Washington Association of Educational Service Districts (ESD)
Educational Service Districts (ESDs) are regional, quasi-governmental, administrative units created by statute that evolved from county superintendents. There are nine ESDs in the state. The State Board of Education has statutory authority relating to the number and boundaries of ESDs. Each ESD is governed by a board of seven or nine members elected by the school directors of each school district within the ESD.

Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA)
WSSDA serves the state's 1,477 locally elected school board members from 295 public school districts. WSSDA is authorized by the Legislature to be self-governed through a president and board of directors elected from school boards from throughout the state.

Washington Student Achievement Council
The Council’s mission is to strengthen partnerships in the pursuit of an accessible and aligned educational system, supportive of lifelong learning and responsive to workforce demand. Supported by a cabinet-level agency, the nine-member council proposes improvements and innovations to meet the evolving needs of students, employers, and the educational community. The Council is responsible for developing a Roadmap to increase educational attainment. The agency manages student financial assistance programs, the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Program, and student outreach and support through Ready Set Grad and Washington State GEAR UP. The agency also sets minimum college admission standards and authorizes higher education institutions to operate in Washington.

Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB)
The primary purpose of the WTECB is to provide planning, coordination, evaluation, monitoring, and policy analysis for the state workforce development system as a whole and to advise the Legislature and Governor. The board was established in statute by the Legislature in 1991. It was further revised by Executive Order #99-02.


Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP)
AWSP is a professional association that supports principals, assistant principals and principals in training in the education of all students. The association includes more than 3,400 members from public and private elementary, middle and high schools statewide.

Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP)
The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) is a Washington state nonprofit organization that helps build a strong, supported and effective teaching force for Washington's students. Established in 2003, CSTP promotes state and local policies and practices to help professional educators impact student learning.

Partnership for Learning
Partnership for Learning is an independent, nonprofit organization that communicates about Washington state’s school improvement efforts and the preparation of all high school graduates for the demands of a global society. The Partnership conducts research and opinion polling and keeps the pulse of K-12 education reform and college and work readiness.

Public School Employees of Washington (PSE)
PSE of Washington state is a labor union that represents classified educational support professionals in K-12 public schools and universities. Classified employees include paraeducators, secretaries, custodians, and those involved in campus security, technology, transportation, maintenance, grounds, and food service. PSE represents 27,000 members in 175 school districts across the state.

Thrive Washington
Thrive Washington promotes positive early learning opportunities for every child, from birth, so that they are ready to succeed in school and thrive in life. Created in 2006 as a public-private partnership, Thrive Washington partners with parents, early learning professionals, communities, philanthropic organizations, businesses and government to develop a sustainable system for statewide early learning improvement.

Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA)
WASA is a private, not-for-profit organization open to superintendents and central office, school building and educational agency administrators. WASA has 1,000 active members, 500+ retired members, and 12 employees.

Washington Education Association (WEA)
WEA, the state's largest public employee union, represents approximately 82,000 public school employees, including teachers, classified staff, and higher education staff. The WEA’s mission is to advance the professional interests of its members to make public education the best it can be for students, staff and communities.

Washington State Parent Teacher Association (WSPTA)
The Washington State PTA is a nonprofit membership association which seeks to bring together the home, school and community on behalf of all children and youth. The board of directors governs the affairs of the State PTA and provides leadership training and education to local PTA units and councils. The Washington State PTA is chartered by and affiliated with the national PTA.


Clickable chart of K-12 Partners (PDF)

K12 Educational Agencies, Associations and Organizations

   Updated 11/9/2015

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