Your Child's Education
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) oversees K-12 public education in Washington state. The State Superintendent, an elected position, serves a four-year term. There are 9 Educational Service Districts in Washington, and 295 school districts.
Local Control: The Organization and Financing of Washington Public Schools
Washington is largely considered a "local control" state. Local control means that school districts are responsible for their day-to-day operations. School districts are generally responsible for delivering the actual instructional programs to our public school students.
At the local level, each of the 295 districts has a locally elected school board. These boards hire a Superintendent to oversee the daily operations of the district.
At the state level, the public school system involves the Legislature, the Governor, the State Board of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, the Professional Educators Standards Board, and the State Auditor's Office. Each of these entities play a role in establishing educational policies, implementing these policies, or providing administrative and financial oversight of the public school system.
Source: Organization and Financing of Washington Public Schools