In 2006, the Washington State Legislature passed House Bill 3127 to establish the Office of the Education Ombuds to reduce the opportunity gap by supporting families, students, educators, and other community stakeholders in understanding the public K-12 education system and resolving their concerns collaboratively. The legislature placed OEO within the Office of the Governor to ensure its independence from the public education system.
OEO has three functions statewide that we perform with a small staff of less than 7 full-time employees: supporting schools and families in resolving concerns that affect students in K-12 public schools in Washington State; providing information and trainings to community stakeholders about best practices to reduce the opportunity gap; and serving as a valued policy partner on state committees tackling educational equity issues. OEO embraces the four values of ombuds work: impartiality, independence, confidentiality, and informality. We are not an enforcement agency.