Module 7–Extended Investigation

K-12 Laws and Regulations

Title 28A of the Revised Code of Washington has Common (in the sense of shared by all) school provisions.  To read the chapters of Title 28 is to walk through key public issues in education for the past 122 or so years in this state.  Since the MTMS program is about math and science teaching lets see what chapters apply to those subjects, namely use the RCW search to look for math and science.  Here are two entries that I found.

Section 28A.300.515 describes a Statewide director for math, science, and technology – Duties – Reporting.

Section 28A.415.380 describe mathematics and science instructional coach program – Evaluation – Reports.

All positions at all levels are defined in RCW from lowliest aide in Kindergarten to the President/Chancellor of the University of Washington, impressive.

As far as the Washington Administrative Code, I found the following interesting, since I didn’t know you were breaking the law if you didn’t regularly improve your skills as a teacher.  Not that I was going to try and do that.

Chapter 181-85 WAC  Professional Certification Continuing Education Requirement.

Since the Bellevue SD is in negotiations on salaries for the coming year, I thought it instructional to review

RCW 28A.400.200  Salaries and compensation for employees — Minimum amounts — Limitations — Supplemental contracts.

Organization and Financing of WA Schools

This is a 164-page document on how schools are financed in the state here are my observations on the document.

I found the section on education reform history in the state very interesting as it essentially details how we have gotten to our current place.  For instance I did not know that the lottery and property taxes provide approximately $375 per FTE student in the state from the Student Achievement Fund. (OSPI, 2009, p 15)

I see that you can find out individual school financial information at the following web site:

I found myself spending the most time on Section IV.  School Statistics and History section of the document.  Here are my observations from that section.


State law describes minimum and maximum (lid) salaries that can be paid to teachers (certificated staff) based on seniority and education level.

Every school district board of directors has the responsibility to determine salaries and compensation for its employees. This is influenced, but not controlled, by state law and state salary allocations. State policy determines salary allocations to the school districts. Local collective bargaining and employment contracts determine how much any employee is paid. However, state law limits salaries paid to certificated instructional staff as described below.  (OSPI, 2009, p. 115)

Since I am a starting teacher, I found the difference between 1999 and 2007 salary tables instructive.



Class sizes are legislated per 1000 students.  For the 2006-2007 school year, total teachers (certificated, instructional) for K-12 were 56.10 per 1000 students.  That number has been rising since its value of 48.62 for 1982-1983 school year.  It is interesting to note that schools such as a Big Picture survive on standard funding by reducing the number of non-teacher staff.

I found the history of enrollments interesting that overall we are increasing in the state if not by birth than by immigration to the state.

The breakdown of dollars spent per student broken down by source (state, federal, local) and then the costs those are applied to was also instructional.

Family Resources

In the center of the page is the Family Resources tab which discusses important topics that every parent should know if their child will be attending school in Washington State.  I briefly comment on each topic.


  • Parent and Student Rights:  This page highlights some of the key privileges parents and students enjoy in Washington.  Since my daughter is special needs, I key in more closely to the section entitled “Services for Students With Disabilities”.  It is good to know that Washington preserves the rights fought for and won by those in the past who advocated to get their children into typical classrooms.  We all benefit from their victory.
  • School Report Card:  Every school in the state is required to post the results of their last round of standardized testing.  Teachers, parents and others can easily reference this information to start making sense of MSP (Measurements of Student Progress), HSPE (High School Proficiency Exam), AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) and so on.
  • Your Child’s Progress:  These are documents which describe the expectations for students from grades Kindergarten through 10th grade.
  • Test Resources and Handouts:  This page has numerous documents explaining graduation, math requirements, and options for further study.
  • State Testing:  MSP and HSPE:  This page describes the dates, timelines and natures of the 3 main exams given to students in Washington State.  The three main test are MSP, HSPE and EOC (End-of-Course).
  • Learning Standards
  • Equity and Civil Rights Office
  • Attendance and Truancy
  • School Safety Center
  • Traffic Safety
  • Special Education
  • Career and Tech Ed
  • Early Learning
  • CISL
  • Publications for Parents


Teacher Tools

This section of the web page describes resources for teachers in the state.


  • Online Grade Level Standards
  • Certification and Renewal
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Assessment
  • Teacher Resource Tool
  • iGrants
  • School Safety Center
  • Navigation 101
  • Education Awards
  • AYP Tools
  • Events Manager
  • Migrant and Bilingual
  • Title I and LAP
  • CISL
  • K-12 Employment Opportunities


Learning Standards

  • Subject Areas
    • Reading
    • Mathematics:  I took a look at this section since it is one of my endorsement areas.  In particular I’ve signed up for the “Movers and Shakers” e-mail list for mathematics-related news across the state.  I also registered for the OSPI Moodle, and starting reading up on the alternative certification called Collection of Evidence (COE) which is relatively new in Washington State.
    • Science:  I took a look at this section, and found some interesting resources, such as science support staff designated at the ESD level, and some recommended lesson-planning resources.  On the whole it appears as though math education is more developed than science in Washington.
    • Writing
    • Communication
    • Social Studies
    • The Arts
    • Health Fitness
    • HIV Sexual Health Education
    • Early Learning
    • Educational Technology
    • World Languages
    • International Education
    • Education for Environment and Sustainability
    • English Language Developments
  • Programs
    • Reading First
    • Wash. Reading Corps
    • Running Start
  • Additional Resources
    • Washington State Learning Goals
    • Grade Level Standards and Resources
    • Common Core Standards
    • Instructional Materials
    • Curriculum/Course Alignment Tools
    • Response to Intervention (RTI)
    • Special Education Learning
    • Washington State Diagnostic Assessment Guide
    • Formative Assessment Comparative Guide – Consumer Report




Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.  (2009).  Organization and Financing of Schools – 2009 Edition.  State of Washington.  Retrieved July 25, 2011 from

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