Washington state’s public school districts are governed by publicly elected school boards. These board members—called “school directors”—are citizens just like you! They are parents and grandparents, young people and senior citizens, and diverse community members from all walks of life.
There is great value in diversity on a school board. Each member brings their varying experiences and backgrounds to inform good decision making with a spirit of teamwork.
School directors work together to oversee the school district. As a board, their primary responsibilities are:
The WA Secretary of State’s website provides guidance and resources to guide you through the process of determining what positions are up for election, whether you are eligible to run for office, and how to navigate the process.
Additionally, each county provides information specific to your region. Look up the website address for your county.
The Serving on Your Local School Board guide provides background on the history of public education in the United States and the key roles and responsibilities of school boards.
The Washington School Board Standards are intended for use by local school boards and individual directors as a common framework for school board governance. Two sets of standards were developed to encourage school boards and individual school directors to subscribe to the highest levels of professional and personal conduct and performance.
The standards identify the elements of good governance and effective board leadership as drawn from best practices and current research. They provide shared understanding of what constitutes good governance. They also validate and affirm the importance of the school board’s role in ensuring student success.
Illustrations courtesy of the Oregon School Boards Association