The State Board of Education’s (SBE) election process is defined in RCW 28A.305.011. Of the 16 SBE members, five are elected, seven are appointed by the Governor, two serve as student representatives, and one serves as a private school representative. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is also a member of SBE.
Of the five public school elected representatives to SBE, two are from eastern Washington, and three are from western Washington. Candidates for election to SBE must meet several qualifications.1 The length of a candidate’s term with SBE is four years, and no elected candidate other than the Superintendent of Public Instruction can serve more than two consecutive four-year terms. The terms are staggered so that no more than two of the positions are open for election in a year, unless a member has resigned. No person employed in any public or private school, college, university, or other educational institution or any educational service district superintendent's office or in the office of the superintendent of public instruction is eligible for membership on the state board of education. No member of a board of directors of a local school district or private school may continue to serve in that capacity after having been elected to the state board.
A separate document covering the election process of elected school board members is available at: www.sbe.wa.gov/elections.php.
Initial appointments to SBE occurred in staggered terms of one to four years in length. When a term expires, the Governor appoints or reappoints a representative for a new four-year term. Upon appointment, the Governor sends a letter to the appointee, copied to the SBE Executive Assistant. The letter includes the expiration date of the term. Appointees to SBE should meet the following qualifications:
The law requires the Governor to consider the diversity population of the state when nominating a candidate. All nominations are subject to confirmation by the Senate.
Private School Representative
One member at-large is elected to a four-year term by the Private School Advisory Committee (PSAC).
Student representatives serve two-year terms with SBE and are elected from the Washington Association of Student Councils (WASC). The annual election rotation ensures equal representation from eastern and western Washington and that one junior and one senior fill SBE positions. Each spring a sophomore is elected to serve. Students from eastern Washington are selected in even-numbered years, with western Washington offering the nominee in odd-numbered years.2
Qualified students must:
1 WAC 392-109-065
(2) Forms for filing: A person who desires to be a candidate shall complete: