Educational service district (Washington)

An Educational Service District, or ESD, is a regional education unit in the U.S. state of Washington. Organizationally different from a school district, a single ESD in Washington serves dozens of school districts. ESDs are established to allow school districts to work, plan, and buy equipment collectively. In Washington, they also provide other intermediary services between the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and local school districts.

Legislative role

There are nine statutory regional service agencies in Washington.[1] Created by the legislature in 1969, the expressed purpose of an ESD is to ensure equal educational opportunities for quality education and lifelong learning for all.[2] In addition to acting as a liaison between local districts and the State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to deliver programs mandated by the state, Washington's ESDs are public entities, which operate in a highly entrepreneurial fashion.

In 1967, ten school districts united to share software, hardware, and centralized technology support costs. The result of this collaboration created the WSIPC Cooperative WSIPC–a unique nonprofit public agency. It is now under the umbrella of ESDs.  

Scope of service

ESDs were first created as a system of county school offices overseeing the establishment and operation of local school districts for the state. Eventually, that system developed into large media distribution centers, also serving as financial advisers for schools. Now, ESDs are both regional service providers and brokers among schools, businesses, and governments for various school administrative functions and children's education, health, and social services.[3] An ESD's scope includes but is not limited to: curriculum, instructional support and assessment, business operations, transportation, youth employment, printing, public relations, data processing, payroll, fingerprinting, network support, statewide computer networks, traffic safety education, construction management, preschool programs, homeless transportation, para-educator training, and special education.

List of ESDs

Washington state has nine ESDs that oversee 295 school districts.

See also


  1. ^ "Education Service Districts". Office of Superintendent of Office Instruction. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Celebrating 40 Years of Service". Association Educational Service Districts. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  3. ^ Edie Harding & Thomas Sykes (January 10, 1994). "Washington's Educational Service Districts: Design for Evaluation" (PDF). p. 5. Archived from the original (pdf) on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 1 March 2016.

External links

  • Washington State ESDs
  • Overlay maps of ESDs, districts, and counties
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