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Basic Education Compliance

SBE is responsible for ensuring Washington State public school district compliance with the Program of Basic Education, and annually conducts a survey that allows school districts to affirm compliance with the basic education law.

The 2024-25 Basic Education Compliance Requirement and District Survey will reopen in mid-May 2024. We are currently working to produce a new Basic Education Matrix webinar that will give detailed information on the current basic education offerings and requirements. Please, check back periodically for news and updates. If you have ideas and suggestions on the best way to improve the basic education compliance process in the state of Washington, please, contact Viktoria Bobyleva.

Basic education certification is a mandatory process and an integral part of work that the State Board is tasked to accomplish annually. This process is different from such procedures as accreditation or private school approval. Accreditation is a process that a school district can follow voluntarily, whereas the process of approval is mandatory for private schools. Please, find more information on accreditation and private school approval on this page: Accreditation.

The Basic Education Matrix
Based on provisions of Chapter 28A. 150 RCW, Chapter 28A. 230 RCW, Chapter 28A. 300 RCW, and Chapter 28A. 320 RCW, the State Board has generated and will implement the 2023-2024 Basic Education Compliance Matrix. The Matrix has been updated, and it lists four criteria that establish the recommendation for a certificate of compliance or noncompliance with the provisions of basic education law, and identifies the basic education elements that are mandatory, required, and/or encouraged at Washington State school districts:

  • The mandated criterion shows the elements that must be present within the education program in every school district and LEA prior to a recommendation for certification of compliance. 
  • The required criterion describes elements which have an explicit basic education or compulsory education reference in statute, and the presence (or not) of the element factors into compliance recommendation. 
  • The notification criterion describes elements that are related to basic education, are required elsewhere in statute, and do not have an explicit basic education reference. These do not factor into the compliance recommendation and would result in a notification to the district. 
  • The encouraged criterion describes elements that are encouraged in the statute, and these do not factor into compliance recommendation. Please, find a copy of the 2023-2024 Basic Education Matrix here: BE Matrix.

Basic Education Report (February 2024)

Basic Education Report (February 2023)

2020 District Graduation Requirements Comparison

Instructional Hours FAQ

Interpretive Statement on the Calculation of Instructional Hours

Accreditation FAQ

Per WAC 180-16-195, annual reporting on this form gives assurance to the Board that school districts are in compliance with the minimum requirements of the Basic Education Act under RCW 28A.150.220, as well as related requirements determined by the SBE.

What the does Basic Education Compliance and District Survey Contain?
The survey includes questions regarding minimum access to the Program of Basic Education that allow the state to ensure that students are offered the full breadth of the goals of the program of basic education, specific required or encouraged offering, and the full breadth of the state learning standards. The updated basic education survey includes the prompts about the following topics: 

  • Grades offered, days of instruction, and waivers.
  • Instructional hours and climate surveys.
  • Science instruction in the elementary grades.
  • Graduation requirements: the High School and Beyond Plan, course offerings, and graduation pathways.
  • State-mandated and state-recommended educational offerings and activities.
  • Mastery-based learning and Washington-Integrated Student Support Protocol.
  • 2022-23 graduation requirement emergency waiver administration.

The four following instructional time-related or school-day related student entitlements cover the basic education minimum access to time for all students in public schools:

Kindergarten Minimum 180-day School Year (RCW 28A.150.203 / RCW 28A.150.220 / RCW 28A.150.315) –Implementation of all-day kindergarten programs must be achieved in the 2017-18 school year.  All-day programs must consist of no fewer than 180 days.

  • Kindergarten Total Instructional Hour Offering (RCW 28A.150.203 / RCW28A.150.220 / RCW 28A.150.315) - Implementation of all-day kindergarten programs must be achieved in the 2017-18 school year.  All-day programs must consist of no fewer than 180 days, comprising no fewer than 1,000 hours of instruction.
  • Grades 1-12 Minimum 180-Day School Year (RCW 28A.150.220 / RCW 28A.150.203) - The school year is accessible to all legally eligible students and consists of at least 180 school days for students grades 1-12, inclusive of any 180-day waivers granted by the State Board of Education.
  • Grades 1-12 Total Instructional Hour Offering (RCW 28A.150.220 / RCW 28A.150.205 / WAC 180-16-200) - The district makes available to students enrolled in grades 1-12 at least a district-wide average 1,000 instructional hours in grades 1-8 and a district-wide average 1,080 instructional hours in grades 9-12, which may be calculated as a district-wide average of 1,027 instructional hours in grades 1-12.

The following is the student’s entitlement to coursework to complete graduation requirements such subject areas and credits, graduation pathway options, the High School and Beyond Plan, and local graduation requirements:

  • State High School Graduation Minimum Requirements (RCW 28A.150.220 / RCW 28A.230.090 / WAC 180-51-066) All subject areas are aligned with the state’s high school learning standards and essential academic learning requirements, at a minimum meet grades 9-10 grade level expectations. District high schools meet or exceed all state minimum graduation requirements.

For questions or if your school district is out of compliance with any of the requirements, please contact Viktoria Bobyleva, Basic Education Manager.