Mission, History, and Vision

newesdNorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101 promotes educational excellence by delivering essential, cooperative services to schools and other learning communities.

Statutory mandate: Chapter 28A.310 RCW

It shall be the intent and purpose of this chapter to establish educational service districts as regional agencies which are intended to:

- Provide cooperative and informational services to local school districts;

- Assist the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education in the performance of their respective statutory or constitutional duties; and

- Provide services to school districts and to the school for the deaf and the school for the blind to assure equal educational opportunities.

Nine ESDs: A statewide network

There are nine ESDs in Washington, each serving a specific geographic region of the state.

Click here for the Washington Association of Educational Service Districts.


NEWESD 101 service area:
NEWESD 101 is responsible for the seven northeastern counties of the state, providing cooperative services to 59 public school districts, 45 state-approved private schools and two charter schools in Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens and Whitman counties.

NEWESD 101 is the state's largest ESD in the number of districts served, counties served and geographic region served (14,026 square miles; a territory larger than nine states). All told, the region counts nearly 100,000 students in grades PK-12.

History of ESDs:

Spokane County Court House

Washington's nine ESDs have evolved from a system that began as 39 individual county offices of education. In 1969, the county offices were replaced by 14 regional offices known as Intermediate School Districts, or ISDs.

Later consolidation reduced the number of districts to 12 in 1972; then nine, in 1977. Consolidation also brought a statewide re-naming: Educational Service Districts, or ESDs.

While the number of ESDs has been periodically reviewed, numerous studies have recommended no change from the present nine. Legislative studies in 1982 and 1995 commended the ESDs for providing affordable, high-quality service to schools. In 2009, the ESDs were recognized in a 40-year anniversary celebration at the state Capitol in Olympia.

Washington ESD Map

The ESD numbering system: As seen in the accompanying map, each ESD carries a unique identifying number, ranging from 101 to 189, that appears to follow no particular sequence. In fact, the numbering system was a product of the 1970s' consolidations.

In 1972, ESDs 102 and 103 became ESD 123; and ESDs 106 and 107 became ESD 167. In 1977, the next round of consolidation turned ESDs 108 and 109 into ESD 189; ESDs 110 and 111 became ESD 121; and ESDs 104 and 167 became ESD 171.

NEWESD 101 history:
From its original home in the Spokane County Court House, the growing organization migrated to a pair of north Spokane locations in the 1970s and 80s before purchasing the current site on South Regal Street in 2001. A 5,000-square-foot educational conference center, behind the Regal office complex, was constructed the same year.

In 2009, the organization re-branded itself to more definitively reflect its regional identity and commitments. With the addition of "NorthEast Washington" to its name, ESD 101 became NEWESD 101.

Carl Putnam in 2009One of the most important figures in NEWESD 101 history was board director Carl Putnam of Inchelium. Putnam served on the first ISD board in 1969 and remained a director for 28 years. Upon retiring in 1997, he was the longest-serving educational director in the state, completing 50 years of board service -- 49 of them consecutive (World War II interrupted the streak).

Putnam was a driving forcing behind the ESD's successful development of satellite television in the 1980s and its expansion in the 1990s. He was renowned for his commitment to public service, his dedication to rural schools, his vision, wisdom and knowledge.

Seven superintendents have led the agency through its history: Van Emerson, 1969-74; Ben Larson, 1974-75; Bob Price, 1975-81; Ed Luders, 1981-82; Brian Talbott, 1982-98; Terry Munther, 1998-2008; and Michael Dunn, 2008-present.