Washington

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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:Jay Inslee
Superintendent of Public Instruction:Chris Reykdal
Quality Counts state grade:C
Pre-K-12 enrollment:1,073,638
Number of school districts:322
Number of public schools:2,428
Number of public school teachers:59,555
Unadjusted education spending per student:$10,202
Percent minority students:42.8%
Percent of students eligible for free/reduced price lunch:45.9%
Percent of students with disabilities:12.4%
Percent of English-language learners:10.0%
NAEP Mathematics 2015 percent proficient
4th grade math:42.4%
8th grade math:41.3%
NAEP Reading 2015 percent proficient
4th grade reading:38.9%
8th grade reading:41.6%

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Critics say the school board has failed to address critical issues, including closing underenrolled schools.
February 2, 2007 – Education Week
The U.S. Supreme Court is contemplating a case that tests the constitutionality of a Washington state law that requires nonunion teachers to “affirmatively consent,” or opt in, before a teachers’ union may spend money from “agency fees” on political campaigns and similar activism.
January 17, 2007 – Education Week
Thirteen Western states that are home to more than 93 percent of the nation’s federally owned land have formed a coalition to lobby Washington for an annual $4 billion in lost local and state property-tax revenues on the federal land, nearly $1.9 billion of which would have gone to pay for public education.
December 13, 2006 – Education Week
The U.S. Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in two cases that challenge the constitutionality of school districts’ use of race-conscious plans to assign their students to schools.
December 4, 2006 – Education Week (Web)
Less than four years after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld the consideration of race in admissions at the University of Michigan’s law school, the court returns Dec. 4 to the highly charged topic of racial diversity in education.
November 29, 2006 – Education Week
Education organizations, civil rights groups, and scholars were among those filing a total of 57 friend-of-the-court briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court by the Oct. 10 deadline in support of race-conscious policies of the Seattle and Jefferson County, Ky., school districts.
October 25, 2006 – Education Week
In Seattle, the student-assignment policy seeks to keep the racial and ethnic makeup of high schools within the range of district averages.
October 4, 2006 – Education Week
In its new term, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two potentially landmark cases on whether public schools may take race into account in assigning students to schools. Here are the stories of those cases.
October 4, 2006 – Education Week
By accepting two appeals on the voluntary use of race in assigning students to public schools, the U.S. Supreme Court will likely decide the constitutionality of widespread practices that school districts use to promote diversity. And the decision could affect schools in unforeseen ways.
June 14, 2006 – Education Week
Hoping to break down bureaucracy, use tax dollars more efficiently, and provide a central resource for parents, Washington state has created a new agency to oversee a variety of programs that serve its young children.
April 26, 2006 – Education Week

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