Nationwide and throughout Washington state, school districts are currently celebrating School Board Recognition Month. This year marks the 24th year of this annual observance initiated by the National School Boards Association.
With a proclamation from Governor Jay Inslee, the Washington State School Directors’ Association, the Association of Educational Service Districts and the broader education community take time each January to honor board members from Washington’s 295 school districts and nine elected educational service district boards.
Like our legislators elected to serve in Olympia, Washington’s 1477 school board members are local citizens elected to represent and respond to the interests of their community.
“The role of school boards is to provide visionary leadership and governance, which requires a great deal of time and energy,” said WSSDA Executive Director Tim Garchow. “We’re fortunate that community members have the opportunity to step into the role of school director, but even more fortunate that we have 1477 citizens committed to filling that role in service to our state’s youth.”
In total, Washington’s school directors govern districts serving 1.1 million students, with a combined annual budget of over $15 billion, employing about 120,000 people.
As they help districts navigate a variety of complex educational and social issues, let us thank our school board members for their service. Their efforts are crucial to building a thriving, equitable system of public education for all students.
“Public education does not serve a public; it creates a public.” — Neal Postman
About the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA): Formed in 1922, WSSDA has grown to include 1,477 locally elected school board directors from across Washington. As a state agency, per chapter 28A.345 RCW, WSSDA supports its members with research-based leadership development resources, policy and legal guidance, and legislative advocacy.