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SOESD partners with local school districts to provide high-quality, cost-effective education services to the region. SOESD serves 13 school districts, over 100 buildings, 3,500 teachers and 52,000 students in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath Counties—a 10,600 square-mile geographic area.

As a responsible partner, we provide services and leadership to optimize educational opportunities for the children, schools and communities we serve.

Governed by a nine-member Board of Directors and staffed by approximately 275 employees, our agency brings the cooperative benefits of the regional advantage to every student, teacher, administrator and resident of our service area every day.

Our Impact

SOESD brings added value to our districts surpassing the requirements of the Local Service Plan by historically obtaining over half (59% in 2017-18) of our annual revenue through grants, contracts and entrepreneurial services, expanding our partners and the area we serve, while providing enhanced or additional highly valued services to benefit our local districts.


Children with Special Needs

We partner with local school districts to provide services to families and students who are at risk or have special
educational needs.

School Improvement Services

We provide consultation, on-site and regional professional development, grant projects, and student programs that are
designed to support and further career and technical education.

Technology Services

We offer a wide range of information technology and instructional support services to both SOESD and school district staff.

Administrative Services

We support business, administrative and operational functions for SOESD and partner school districts. Other services are
also available to support home and alternative learning.

Board of Directors

SOESD is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors, elected to four-year terms by citizens in Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties. The Board adopted the following as its mission: SOESD, as a responsible partner, provides services and leadership to optimize educational opportunities for the children, schools and communities it serves.

The authority of the Board and the purpose and basic functions of the ESD are specified in the Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 334, and related Oregon Administrative Rules. The Board acts as the policy-making body for the ESD and appoints a superintendent to oversee the daily operations of the district.

SOESD Board Policies

2023-2024 Board of Directors Regular Meeting Schedule

2024-2025 Board of Directors Regular Meeting Schedule


2023-2024 Board of Directors

Director Mary Middleton Zone 1/Grants Pass & Three Rivers
Chair Justin Wright Zone 2/Three Rivers
Director Bob Moore Zone 3/Klamath County
Director Jessie Hecocta Zone 4/Klamath Falls
Director Rosie Converse Zone 5/Ashland, Phoenix-Talent, Pinehurst
Director Corbin Morell Zone 6/Medford
Director Maud Powell Zone 7/Medford
Director Annie Valtierra-Sanchez Zone 8/Central Point & Rogue River
Vice-Chair Ana Mannenbach Zone 9/Butte Falls, Eagle Point, Prospect



Origination and foundation established


The County Unit as regulatory arm of the state


Rural School Districts and equalization


Became Intermediate Education Districts (IEDs)/Advent of Services


Passage of SB 26, the ESD Reorganization Act


Passage of Measure 47 & 50 converted ESD tax bases to "rates"


Became Education Service Districts (ESDs)


The era of funding regional services on an equity-based formula


Passage of HB 3184 implementing ESD funding and governance reforms.


Passage of SB 255 staggering board member terms of office


Passage of SB 250 implementing ESD funding and service reforms


Passage of SB 529 allows any school district to withdraw from an ESD

The Legislature created the county “rural school district.” In the early 1960s, rural school districts began to provide special education services for disabled children. The Legislature studied the role of the county school superintendent’s office and its potential for the future. In 1963, it replaced the “rural school district” title with “Intermediate Education District” (IED).

The Legislature changed the name of the intermediate education district to “education service district.” This change reflected the growing recognition that the county office had become a major service center for local districts. Also, the passage of the Public Law 94-142, the federal legislation guaranteeing to all students with handicaps the right to a free and appropriate education, made the ESD’s role as a provider of special education services even more important and necessary, as did the State’s increased interest in early intervention and early childhood education programs, the same of which was occurring on a national basis.

The Legislature authorized a task force to study regional services on a statewide basis. The 1993 Legislature passed SB 26, the ESD Reorganization Act, which required the merger of 29 ESDs down to 21, including the annexation of six county units (Crook, Klamath, Lincoln, Morrow, Hood River, and Josephine) into one of the remaining 21 ESDs, i.e., Linn-Benton ESD annexed Lincoln County School District and became a three-county unit named Linn-Benton-Lincoln ESD; and Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, and Washington ESDs began the merger process to become the Northwest Regional ESD. (In 2003 Yamhill ESD voluntarily merged with Willamette ESD to further reduce the number of ESDs in the state to 20.)

The Legislature completed an interim task force study of ESDs. As a result of that study, the Legislature passed two major pieces of legislation: SB 259 and SB 260. Senate Bill 259 reestablished the primary mission of ESDs: “The mission of Education Service Districts is to assist school districts and the Department of Education in achieving Oregon’s educational goals by providing equitable, high quality, cost-effective and locally responsive educational services at a regional level.”

SB 259 also establishes that ESDs exist to help:
1. Ensure an equitable and excellent education for all children in the state
2. Implement the Oregon Educational Act for the 21st Century
3. Foster the attainment of high standards of performance by all students in Oregon’s public schools
4. Facilitate inter-organizational coordination and cooperation among educational, social service, health care and employment training agencies.

Senate Bill 260 addressed two major issues regarding ESD funding:
1. Through a progressive five-year process, funding was equalized across Oregon ESDs in fiscal year 2005-2006.
2. ESD funding became connected to local district funding in that a small portion of the State School Fund allocation to a region is distributed to the ESD with the remainder distributed to local districts in accordance with the state funding formula. In fiscal year 2001-2002, 4.888% of the region’s State School Fund allocation was used to fund the ESD. That percentage increased gradually over the next four years, such that in the fiscal year 2004-2005, 5.097% of the regional State School Fund allocation was used to fund ESDs.

The Legislature passed House Bill 3184 which implemented reforms to ESD funding and governance. Beginning with the 2006-07 school year, the K-12 state budget formula changed: School districts now receive 95.25% of the region’s State School Fund allocation and ESDs will receive 4.75%. High Desert ESD,

Willamette ESD and Northwest Regional ESD were selected to pilot the governance reform portion of the new law:

  1. The terms of the 2005-06 Board members were now set to expire on June 30, 2006.
  2. For the purpose of modifying the governance of the ESD’s involved in the pilot project, their regions were divided up into zones of approximately equal population and the zones could not cross district boundaries. From each of these zones, each school district board within the zone had one vote to cast to determine representation on the ESD board. That process produced five ESD board members who took office July 1, 2006. They in turn appointed one board member from each of the following regional groups: higher education, social services, the business community, and one at-large member.
  3. The appointees took office on August 8, 2006. The result was a new nine-member ESD board whose terms were to all expire on June 30, 2010.

The Legislature passed Senate Bill 250 which allows local districts located in the Multnomah ESD, Northwest Regional ESD, Willamette ESD and Baker County to withdraw from the ESD beginning with the 2012-13 school year (As of Dec. 15, 2011, of 59 school districts eligible, 6 will withdraw for certain and another 5 are considering it.). A district must notify their ESD in November of the prior year of their intent to withdraw and provide final notice and official action to withdraw by March 1. SB 250 also reduced ESD funding from 4.75% to 4.5% of the state school fund beginning July 1, 2011. In addition, the state Office of Regional Education Services was created. The pilot governance ESDs were also extended.

Union-Baker ESD merged with Umatilla-Morrow ESD to form the new Intermountain ESD, resulting in a total of 19 ESDs in Oregon.

Senate Bill 529 extended authority to withdraw from an education service district to all school districts in the state.

House Bill 3497 increased the minimum formula funding amount for ESDs from $1.0 million to $1.165 million starting with the 2015-16 formula distribution. The bill also provided for the minimum amount to change each year by the percentage change in the appropriation to the State School Fund for all ESDs. For example, the State School fund amount for all ESDs increased by 3.27% from 2015-16 to 2016-17, so the minimum amount for each ESD was also increased by 3.27%, from $1.165 million to $1.203 million.

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