About AESD

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Association of Educational Service Districts shall be to provide communication and coordination among ESD Boards for educational advocacy; for fostering leadership and partnerships; and for collaboration within the educational community.

What is the AESD Network?

OSPI and ESD superintendents represented within the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD) have agreed to commit to establishing and maintaining the OSPI/AESD partnership. They are working together to realize an open and coordinated system focused on shared statewide initiatives that collaborates on goals, accountability measures, and deliverables, and that engages in continual improvement efforts to strengthen the efficacy of the partnership on behalf of Washington’s students.

To learn more, download the current draft of the Coordinated Services Agreement between the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Association of Educational Service Districts.

Celebrating 50 Years of Service

In 1969, ESDs were formed when individual County Superintendent of School offices were consolidated and reorganized to reduce duplication, equalize educational opportunities, and provide a more effective reporting and accountability system to the state legislature.

ESDs link local public and private schools with one another and with state and national resources. ESD Cooperatives and programs enhance educational opportunities because they realize significant savings, allowing districts to send more dollars directly to the classroom and provide special services that might otherwise be unavailable to their regions.

As you can see, ESDs play a crucial role in addressing the challenges in our public schools. Geographically closer to local schools and their district offices, the ESDs serve as regional liaisons between the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), State Board of Education, and the Legislature.

The ESD Return on Investment

As ESDs reach their fifth decade of service, the scope and nature of linking and service responsibilities reflect the change facing our public schools today. In a time of increased public accountability, of both student performance and management of public resources, ESDs in Washington are “the” model of efficiency and leverage. The nine ESDs leveraged $5.1 million of state allocated core funding into $251 million of needed services for students and schools in Washington. Stated another way, for every $1 in core funding, ESDs returned $49 in educational programs and services – $230 for every student in the state.

AESD Core Funding

As our state’s citizens demand higher standards and ever increasing demands on educational programs, the ESDs of Washington state will continue to provide critical services such as teacher and staff training, networking and technology integration, and direct services for students with special needs and early childhood education. We will continue to create new opportunities, leverage more resources, and facilitate broad support for the benefit of all students and their families in Washington State.

Washington State’s ESD History

Celebrating 40 Years of Service


Legislature passed Interlocal Cooperative Act permitting local government units to cooperate.


Legislature passed Interlocal Cooperative Act permitting local government units to cooperate.


Legislature passed Intermediate School District Act of 1969. State Board created 141SDS.


Major cooperatives for firms and teaching materials operated in the regional offices.


Legislature amended ISD Act (EHB 86) to study funding and emphasized ISDs cooperative programming role to meet local needs.


The State Board of Education reduced the number of ISDs from 14 to 12 and continued funding study.


Legislature changed ISDs’ primary focus from regulatory to support service County funding reduced.


Name was changed from Intermediate School Districts to Educational Service Districts (ESDs).


The State Board of Education reduced the number of ESDs from 12 to the present nine. Board members could be elected by school board members.


ESD cooperative purchasing programs authorized.


Legislature authorized ESDs to provide direct student service programs (i.e. special education) to local districts.


First LBC study of ESDs found they met statutory intent and school support roles, with strengths in providing cooperative and fiscal assistance.


Legislature changed ESD funding formula in light of Doran Decision (Basic Education) with state mandated formula.


Regional Committees on School District Organizations reorganized under ESDs.


Legislature allowed ESDs to provide district services and receive direct state apportionments for pupil transportation and special education.


ESD “Core Services” defined for biennial budget purposes.


ESD self-insurance pooling authority expanded to liability/risk insurance cooperatives.


The “Powers Bill” passed the legislature allowing ESDs similar authority as local school districts to provide services not in conflict with state law.


Second LBC study of ESDs endorsed their value and support to local districts in providing needed services and saving money.


ESDs signed an Interlocal Agreement to enable the nine ESDs in the State of Washington to work together.


Washington State Educational Service District Self Study by Marcua Fromhold completed; Audit of Washington State ESDs.


ESD Performance Audit


Regional Delivery Program Proposal


AESD & OSPI Network 2.0; AESD & OSPI ED Network Integration


Washington State ESDs sign an Interlocal Agreement to clarify the manner in which the nine ESDs in the State of Washington will work together as an ESD Network.


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Eastern Washington Computer Science Consortium