Commissioners provide leadership for Education Commission of the States’ initiatives as well as for their own states’ education agendas.

Education Commission of the States supports all 50 states and four territories – the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Each state appoints seven commissioners who help guide our work and their own state’s education agendas; territorial appointments vary. Commissioners also have the authority to approve amendments to bylaws and provide strategic information to our staff regarding state education policy issues.

Individual state statutes specify who will serve as commissioners, but in most states they include:

  • The governor.
  • A state senator.
  • A state representative.
  • Four gubernatorial appointees (often the chief state school officer, higher education leaders, state board members and other state-level education policymakers).
  • Of the appointees, one commissioner shall be the head of a state agency or institution, designated by the governor, having responsibility for programs of public education. State laws may require other appointments.