• Facebook
  • OSPI on Twitter
  • OSPI Medium
  • OSPI LinkedIn
  • OSPI YouTube
  • OSPI on Flickr
  • Subscribe to OSPI GovDelivery

You are here

Home » About OSPI » About School Districts » Elections of State Board of Education (SBE)

Elections of State Board of Education (SBE)

Laws and Rules

The election of board members to the State Board of Education: 28A.305 RCW and 392-109 WAC.

Contact Information

Administrative Resource Services

Kristin Murphy
360-725-6133

The State Board of Education is composed of 16 members:

  • Two members from the eastern region of the state, elected by public school directors;
  • Three members from the western region, elected by public school directors;
  • One member, at large, elected by approved private schools;
  • Seven members appointed by the governor;
  • The superintendent of public instruction;
  • Two student representatives selected by the members of the state board.

Information about the State Board of Education (SBE).

SBE board members are elected to a four-year term by each current member of a public school board of directors (school board members) within the applicable region (western or eastern). Votes are weighted based on student enrollment of the elector’s school district. The electoral vote (weighted vote) will be indicated on each ballot. Please see SBE for information on current boardmember terms.

2019 Election Results ESDs and SBE

Candidate Eligibility

Candidates for election must be a resident of the region represented by the position.

  • Eastern Region (counties): Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima.

  • Western Region (counties): Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom.

  • Private Schools Representative is at-large.

State Board of Education members must not be employed by any public or private school, college, university, other educational institution, educational service district, or the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction after being elected to the State Board of Education. Persons elected to the board may not concurrently serve as a member of the board of directors of either a public school district or a private school.

Declaration of Candidacy Form

To run for an elected State Board of Education position, candidates must file a Declaration of Candidacy form between September 1–16. Forms may be mailed or delivered in-person. If mailed, forms must be postmarked on or before September 16. If delivered in-person, forms must be in the OSPI office by 5:00 pm on September 16. Please note, Declaration of Candidacy forms cannot be filed electronically or via email.

Candidate Statement

SBE candidates may submit a candidate statement (300 words or less) and one photo (head-shot style) to be included in the Voter Guide, which will be mailed to electors, along with the ballot. Statements will be printed as submitted and will not be corrected for spelling or grammar; please proofread before submitting. Candidate statements and photos are due by September 18 and can be emailed to: Kristin.Murphy@k12.wa.us

Voting - Electors (voters) and Ballots

Each school district director (school board member) is eligible to vote for the position in their region (eastern or western). The private school representative is elected by private school’s boards of directors (approved private schools in Washington). Votes are weighted based on student enrollment of the school director’s district. The electoral vote (weighted vote) will be indicated on each ballot. Ballots will be mailed on or before October 1. Voting will be by mail. Ballots must be postmarked on or before October 16.

Elections Timeline - State Board of Education

  • August 25: Call for Election (declaration candidacy form available).
  • September 1–16: Candidate Filing Period. Declaration of Candidacy forms can be filed September 1–16. If mailed, forms must be postmarked on or before September 16. Forms delivered in-person, must be in the OSPI office by 5:00 pm on September 16. Declaration of Candidacy forms cannot be filed electronically or via email.
  • September 18: Candidate Statement and Photo Due. May submit a candidate statement and a photo. Statements and photos are due no later than September 18 at 5:00 pm. Statements (up to 300 words) and photos may be submitted via email. 
  • September 23: Withdrawal of Candidacy deadline by 5:00 pm. Candidates wanting to withdraw their candidacy must do so in writing by 5:00 pm on September 23. Written withdrawals must be received by OSPI by this date.
  • October 1: Ballots mailed to electors. Voting will be by mail and ballots must be postmarked on or before October 16.
  • October 16: Voted ballots must be postmarked on or before October 16. Voted ballots may be postal mailed to OSPI. If hand-delivered, must be to OSPI by 5:00 pm.
  • October 20–25: Ballots will be counted at OSPI.
  • November: Run-Off Election (if needed).
  • Second Monday in January: Term begins (unless filling an unexpired term).

*Some dates may be adjusted due to weekends/holidays.

More Information

Information about SBE elections, including the Declaration of Candidacy form, can be found at:  k12.wa.us/about-ospi/about-school-districts/elections-state-board-education-sbe

If you have questions, please contact Kristin Murphy, Legal Services, at 360-725-6133 or by email, Kristin.Murphy@k12.wa.us