What Is an ESD?

What is an ESD?

ESDs are one of four pillars in Washington’s K-12 education system, which also includes local school districts, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education.

As one of nine ESDs in the state of Washington, ESD 113 carries out liaison activities between local school districts, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the State Board of Education. ESD 113 has nearly 450 employees. Our agency is governed by a seven-member board of directors.

Educational Service Districts are public entities that were created by the state of Washington in 1969 to provide cooperative services to local school districts. The expressed purpose of ESDs, as defined in statute (RCW 28A.310), is to assure equal educational opportunities for all by: providing services to school districts to ensure equity in educational opportunities; assisting the Legislature, State Board of Education, and OSPI in the performance of their duties; and providing cooperative and informational services to local school districts.

About ESD 113

Educational Service District 113 supports the learning success of students who attend the 44 public school districts and 1 tribal compact school we serve in Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties in Washington. As a service agency, our purpose is to meet the expressed needs of local school districts by coordinating and conducting cooperative programs that benefit the educational needs of the young people in the five counties we serve.

We provide cost efficiency in:

  • Achieving school and student success
  • Creating safe and healthy learning environments
  • Implementing and managing cooperatives for services of mutual benefit to our districts
  • Introducing educators to new research and creative ways of teaching and learning
  • Providing administrative, business and financial support services to districts
  • Offering innovative professional development and training based on district needs
  • Making new technology available

ESD 113 implements and manages several programs and cooperatives that help schools save money while providing access to services they may not be able to offer on their own. Programs are developed based on the needs of our school districts.  Our effective resource leveraging capabilities allow us to pool public and private support to secure new resources for our region.

ESDs are largely self-supporting organizations.  Unlike school districts or government agencies, which receive the majority of their funding directly from the state, ESDs are public entities that operate in a highly entrepreneurial fashion. The majority of ESD funding is actually derived from grants, cooperatives and other self-directed initiatives. Direct legislative appropriations account for only 3 percent of total ESD revenue. The remaining 97 percent is generated through other means, including federal and foundation grants, fees for services, and cooperatives.