In 2006, the Washington State Legislature passed House Bill 3127 to establish the Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) to reduce the opportunity gap by supporting families, students, educators, and communities in understanding the public K-12 education system and resolving concerns collaboratively. The legislature placed us within the Governor’s Office to ensure our independence from the public education system.
OEO works statewide with a small staff of less than 7 full-time employees to carry out three functions:
- Support schools and families in resolving concerns that affect students in K-12 public schools in Washington State
- Provide information and trainings to families and community stakeholders about best practices to reduce the opportunity gap
- Serve as a valued policy partner on state committees that help to improve equity and access
OEO embraces the values of ombuds work: impartiality, independence, confidentiality, and informality. We bring schools, families, and communities together for collaborative problem-solving. We do not have the power to investigate schools or districts. We do not make findings or decisions and we do not enforce any laws or regulations. We have limited resources and prioritize our direct Ombuds support to issues that fall within our strategic plan and where we can have a positive impact as collaborative problem-solvers on the student’s experience.
Learn more about our mission and vision, staff, services and policies, and Legislative participation. Request public records. You can also visit our FAQ or look for career opportunities with us. Read more about our work in our latest annual report (reporte anual en español/Spanish).