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Facts at a Glance

Use the Education Counts Database to find more detailed state information, ranks, comparisons across states, national statistics and more.
Governor:Chris Gregoire
Superintendent of Public Instruction:Randy Dorn
Quality Counts state grade:C
Pre-K-12 enrollment:1,043,640
Number of school districts:294
Number of public schools:2,338
Number of public school teachers:53,934
Unadjusted education spending per student:$9,497
Percent minority students:37.2%
Percent of students eligible for free/reduced price lunch:40.1%
Percent of students with disabilities:12.3%
Percent of English-language learners:8.6%
NAEP Mathematics 2011 percent proficient
4th grade math:48.4%
8th grade math:41.9%
NAEP Reading 2011 percent proficient
4th grade reading:39.7%
8th grade reading:41.7%

Teacher Employment Information

See information on Washington's certification requirements, salary information, and other teacher-employment data.

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Nationwide, five states will hold elections for the top education post on Nov. 2. A total of 14 states elect their schools chiefs.
October 12, 2004 - Education Week
When teachers in Marysville, Wash., complied with a court order to get back to work last fall, they ended a 49-day strike—the longest for teachers in state history.
October 1, 2004 - Education Week
Washington state legislators have passed a trio of bills designed to reduce the risk that students will be subjected to sexual misconduct by teachers, coaches, and other school employees. Includes the accompanying table, "Pending Legislation."
March 24, 2004 - Education Week
After nearly a decade of bitter fights over charter schools, the Washington state legislature narrowly approved a measure last week to allow the independently operated but publicly financed schools.
March 17, 2004 - Education Week
A Seattle newspaper and Washington state's largest teachers' union are fighting in court over when complaints of teacher sexual misconduct become part of the public record.
January 21, 2004 - Education Week
Striking teachers and their Seattle-area school district were ordered back to the bargaining table last week by a state judge, who scolded the parties for failing to get serious about resolving a strike that had already dragged on for almost seven weeks.
October 22, 2003 - Education Week
  • E.D. Releases Guidance About Charter Schools
  • Ex-Department Employee Sentenced in Theft Scheme
  • Rights Office Issues Letter on Campus Free Speech
September 3, 2003 - Education Week
A young generation of Native Americans in Washington state are working to reverse what they see as a depressing trend: the loss of American Indian languages.
February 5, 2003 - Education Week
The Washington state retirement plan gives teachers and principals a fairly easy choice when they accrue 30 years of experience: They can retire, collect a yearly pension, and find a new job; or they can continue working, not collect pension benefits, and actually see their benefits docked when they stop.
June 13, 2001 - Education Week
In a public rebuke of an old friend, the political action committee of the Washington Education Association has voted unanimously to express "official regret" over its endorsement of Democratic Gov. Gary Locke, who received the union's support during his re-election bid this past November.
March 7, 2001 - Education Week

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