Membership Overview
Membership overview

 

There are sixteen State Board of Education positions. Each position is filled for a four-year term except for student positions. An individual can only be a candidate for one position at a time.

Term limits: No member, except the Superintendent of Public Instruction, can serve more than two consecutive four-year terms. If a member has been appointed or elected to finish a term of a resigned position, that term does not count toward his or her two consecutive four-year terms.

Effective dates: All members are sworn in with the Oath of Office at their first attended board meeting; however, a member’s service is effective the date of appointment or election. Terms for all positions, except the student board members, expire on the second Monday of January of the applicable year.

Elected Representatives

Members of Washington state public school boards of directors vote to fill SBE’s five elected positions. Two elected members must be from eastern Washington and three from western Washington. Terms are staggered so no more than two positions are open for election in any year, unless a member has resigned.

Eligibility: Candidates for election must be a resident of the region represented by the position. Candidates may not be employed by a:

  • a public or private school
  • a college
  • a university
  • the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • an educational service district superintendent's office
  • any other educational institution.

No member of a board of directors of a local school district or private school may continue to serve in that capacity after being elected to the state board.

Election process: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction conducts the election. Call for elections take place in July; the filing window is open for seven days and closes a minimum of sixty days before an election. Ballots will be mailed to eligible electorates when the election commences. These electorates must vote for one candidate for each position and return the ballot by the deadline. Returned ballots deemed official will be counted by a three-member election panel designated by the Superintendent.

A candidate must receive 50 percent plus one of the votes cast to be elected. If no candidate reaches the 50 percent plus one required minimum, a run-off election process begins. The announcement of the winning candidate or the necessity for a runoff election will be made by mid-December.

If an elected member resigns before the end of their term, the remaining elected members will fill that vacancy by appointment, subject to full Board approval. The nominated candidate must meet the eligibility requirements for that position.

For more information about board member elections, please contact Kristin Murphy.

Governor Appointees

Seven board members are appointed by the Governor. Upcoming opportunities are posted on the Governor’s website. You may apply to be appointed any time of the year whether or not a vacancy is open. Appointees to SBE should:

  • Have demonstrated interest in public schools and support of educational improvement.
  • Have a positive record of service.
  • Be able to devote the time necessary to meet the responsibilities of SBE.
  • Reside in the State of Washington.

The law requires the Governor to consider the diverse population of the state when nominating an applicant. The Governor’s office notifies Board and the appointed member with an official letter of appointment when the Governor selects an applicant.

If a term expires or a member resigns, the Governor reviews the all existing applications to make a new appointment. Members eligible for another term can submit an application for reappointment to the Governor’s office. The member retains voting privileges if the term expires before the Governor makes the official reappointment. The Governor has discretion to review any pool of applications submitted regardless of date of receipt.

A gubernatorial appointment is effective once the Governor transmits the notice of appointment to the secretary of the Senate. The board member will attend a required confirmation hearing in the senate. A member can serve and vote for SBE while awaiting confirmation from the Senate.

Private School Representative

The Private School Representative on the Board is elected to a four-year term by administrators of private schools.

Eligibility: Candidates for election must be a resident of the region represented by the position. Candidates may not be employed by a:

  • a public or private school
  • a college
  • a university
  • the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • an educational service district superintendent's office
  • any other educational institution.

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.

Election: The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction conducts the election and votes are weighed according to student population of each private school.

If the private schools representative resigns before the end of their term, the Private Schools Advisory Committee will select a replacement.

For more information about board member elections, please contact Kristin Murphy

Student Representatives

Student representatives serve two-year terms and are elected by the Association of Washington Student Leaders (AWSL) Student Steering Committee. The annual election rotation ensures equal representation from eastern and western Washington and that one junior and one senior fill SBE positions. A sophomore is elected to serve each spring. The eastern Washington position is filled in even-numbered years and western Washington in odd-numbered years.

Qualified students must:

  1. Be enrolled in a secondary school throughout the academic years of his or her term.
  2. Be a sophomore at the time of selection.
  3. Reside and attend school in Washington state.
  4. Be able to attend and participate in all scheduled SBE and AWSL Board meetings.
  5. Have above-average grades and be responsible to make up school work missed while attending scheduled meetings.

Although student representatives are nonvoting SBE members, they are encouraged to provide meaningful input on issues regarding educational policy in Washington State. In this capacity, the representatives are also members of the AWSL Student Steering Committee.

More information, the application, and due dates can be found on the Association of Washington School Principals website.


Procedures Manual

The procedures manual is a resource guide for board members. It includes information on statutes and rules, board membership, new member forms, travel information/forms, and ethics.