Chris Reykdal

City Year / Flickr

Almost two years ago, Congress scrapped the No Child Left Behind Act, which was despised by a lot of people who thought it was too punitive toward schools that were deemed to be failing. Congress replaced the law with the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Elaine Thompson / AP

Across Washington, school officials are putting their own math skills to work as they try to figure out what the state’s new school funding plan means for their budgets. For guidance, they’re turning to the state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, who said he’s still working through the numbers himself.

Legislative Support Services Photography

Chris Reykdal is the state superintendent of public instruction-elect. He officially takes office Jan. 11, and is replacing Randy Dorn, who has served the state for the last eight years. There are definitely some challenges Reykdal will be facing in the first several months in office, especially when it comes to working with the legislature in finding ways to adequately fund basic education. 

Erin Jones Campaign / Washington House Democrats

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn is stepping down after eight years in office. Now voters must decide between Erin Jones and Chris Reykdal.

Jones and Reykdal have a lot in common. Both are passionate about the students who attend the 295 school districts across the state. Both want equal and equitable education funding. Both want to have a serious look at the assessment process in the state’s schools and look for better ways to make sure kids are learning. But one key difference is about the office and what their role truly is.

Erin Jones Campaign / Washington House Democrats

State Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater, announced Thursday he will give up his House seat to run for state schools superintendent in 2016, joining Tacoma school district administrator Erin Jones in the race for Washington's top elected education post.

Current superintendent Randy Dorn has not yet said whether he will run for a third term. A spokesman said Dorn is waiting to see what the state Supreme Court does next in the ongoing McCleary school funding case before making his decision.