What is WSSDA?

Frequently Asked Questions

The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) is a state agency, per chapter 28A.345 RCW.
WSSDA is a non-partisan state agency charged with supporting the work of all 1,477 locally elected school board members.

Every school board member in Washington state is a member of WSSDA. Some board members are more active with WSSDA events and committee work than others, but all are entitled to the resources, materials, and opportunities that WSSDA provides.

Additionally, WSSDA has a staff of approximately 16 full-time employees that provide school board members research-based professional development opportunities, policy and legal services, and legislative advocacy supports based on the democratically determined priorities of school board members statewide.

Since 1962, WSSDA’s vision, mission, and goals have resided in what WSSDA calls its permanent positions, voted on and approved by membership. The mission, vision and goals were last updated in 2017.

See all of WSSDA's positions at wssda.org/positions.

See WSSDA's mission, vision, and goals at wssda.org/about-us.

Yes. WSSDA’s membership, all school board members in Washington, are locally elected by the citizens of their community to serve on their local school board. Those local school board members then vote to elect their peers for service on the WSSDA Board of Directors and WSSDA’s standing committees.
None. WSSDA has no regulatory authority.
WSSDA advocates on behalf of its members within the confines of the positions voted on and approved by the membership. WSSDA also assists local school board members in developing and advancing their own advocacy skills when working with the Legislature to address the needs of their local school districts.

Over time, through their work on school boards, WSSDA’s members develop an informed perspective on the needs, challenges, and opportunities in public schools. By virtue of that unique experience, school board members share their knowledge with legislators to help those elected officials make informed decisions when creating or modifying legislation.

WSSDA has a long-standing, democratic process by which any school board in the state can bring forth a proposed position. Those proposals are taken annually to the General Assembly, where all school boards in the state can vote to adopt or reject the proposal as a WSSDA position. Here is a step-by-step comparison of how a proposal becomes a position and how a bill becomes a law in the Legislature.

No. WSSDA does not have the authority to require training of school board members. However, the Washington State Legislature does have such authority and has required two trainings be taken by all school board members: “Open Government Training”, and “Cultural Competency, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training”. More information on these two legislatively required trainings can be found here.
None. WSSDA has no stance, for or against, any specific vaccines. At the 2021 General Assembly, the WSSDA membership passed a legislative position stating only that they support the rules established under WAC 246-105 for adding to, or deleting from, the list of childhood immunizations required for child care or school entry.
None. WSSDA has no stance, for or against, facemasks or requirements related to facemasks. WSSDA’s only role is to remind and inform school boards about state rules and regulations so they can remain in compliance. Assisting boards and school districts to remain in compliance with state and federal laws is critical to preserving the viability of the public education system in Washington state.

How does WSSDA Help?

Hear the 2021 WSSDA Board of Directors describe how WSSDA helped them as school directors.