Erin Jones


DEI education consultant

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Erin Jones is a former school administrator and current consultant on equity and racial issues in Washington. In 2016, she campaigned to be elected Washington state Superintendent of Public Education, losing by 1 percentage point. She offers speeches, seminars, and workshops related to racial and equity issues that align with critical race theory and has worked with public schools. 1 2


Erin Jones has worked in the education field in various roles for more than 25 years, beginning as a classroom teacher. She has worked in various administrative and directive roles, including as the director of equity and achievement in a public school district and as the assistant superintendent of student achievement at the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Education. 3 4

In 2013, she was named a Champion of Change by the Obama administration. 5 She is currently a principal with the Athena Group, an education and organizational consulting firm focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. 6

State Superintendent Campaign

Jones ran for Superintendent of Public Education in 2016. She lost the race by 1.02 percentage points. 7 The Seattle Times characterized Jones’s support as being a mix of “progressives with right-wingers, labor groups and business leaders” and noted that she received the endorsement of Jami Lund, a conservative activist who had worked as an analyst for the Washington state House Republicans and was working as an education advisor at the Washington state-based Freedom Foundation think tank. Jones was also supported by the chairwoman of the state Republican Party at the time, Susan Hutchinson. Due to donations received from the former president of Starbucks and a co-president of the Seattle Mariners, Jones was characterized by her opponent as being a “corporate-style reformer.” 8

During Jones’ campaign for Superintendent, a parents’ group called Southwest Washington Education sent out a candidate survey inquiring about candidates’ stance on a new (at the time) guidance from the state education bureaucracy mandating that school districts teach kindergarten students about transgenderism. In her response, Jones stated that she supports the LGBTQ community, but that she was concerned about teaching transgenderism to five-year-olds or sexual orientation to students in fourth grade. She also stated she was concerned about the push to prioritize this type of curriculum over others, especially given the limited amount of time in a school year. 9 10 In response to public backlash, Jones stated that her comments were taken out of context and that her views have shifted. 11

Erin Jones campaigned on increasing school funding, and specifically noted that the Washington state legislature had suspended voter-approved cost of living adjustments for school employees. She also argued that funding should be allocated to schools based on needs, not automatically doled out equally to every school. 12

Jones argued that teacher evaluation is important, but that it should not be used to “oust” educators. She stated that student test scores should not be used in teaching evaluations. 13

Consulting and Public Speaking

Erin Jones currently offers public speaking and consulting services, with rates ranging from $250 to $3000 an hour for coaching, workshops, and speeches. Workshops include “Equity 101,” which is focused on “facing your bias and prejudice” and education on “critical terminology”, “Equity in Schools”; and “Equity in Non-Profits/Boards,” focused on non-profit corporate governance. 14 Public records indicate that she was hired by the Bainbridge Island School district in Washington state, being paid $5,000 for a “21 day Equity Challenge” and “zoom gatherings on racial equity” and $1,000 in 2021 for “race and equity training” for school staff. 15

Jones has also delivered two TedX speeches focused on her personal story and racial and educational issues. 16 17


  1. “Erin Jones.” Athena Group. Accessed November 19, 2021.
  2. “Erin Jones.” Accessed November 19, 2021.
  3. “Erin Jones.” Athena Group. Accessed November 19, 2021.
  4. “Erin Jones.” Accessed November 19, 2021.
  5. “Erin Jones,” February 26, 2013.
  6. “Erin Jones.” Athena Group. Accessed November 19, 2021.
  7. “Erin Jones.” Ballotpedia. Accessed November 19, 2021.
  8. Rowe, Claudia. “Ex-Teacher Erin Jones Champions Change in Race for State Schools Chief.” Seattle Times. October 11, 2016. Accessed November 19, 2021.
  9. “Teaching Transgenderism in Kindergarten – WA State Superintendent Candidates Positions.” Southwest Washington Education (K-12). June 9, 2016. Accessed November 19, 2021.
  10. Jones, Erin. “Erin Jones Transgenderism in Kindergarten Candidate Survey Response.” Southwest Washington Education (K-12). June 3, 2016. Accessed November 19, 2021.
  11. Rowe, Claudia. “Ex-Teacher Erin Jones Champions Change in Race for State Schools Chief.” Seattle Times. October 11, 2016. Accessed November 19, 2021.
  12. “Erin Jones for OSPI | Funding for Public Education.” Erin Jones 2016. Archived August 7, 2016. Accessed November 20, 2021.
  13. “Erin Jones OSPI | Teacher Evaluation.” Erin Jones 2016. Archived August 7, 2016. Accessed November 20, 2021.
  14. “Erin Jones.” Accessed November 19, 2021.
  15. “Jones, Erin.” Parents Defending Education. Accessed November 20, 2021.
  16. Passion for Change: Erin Jones at TEDxForestRidgeSchool. TEDx Talks. 2014. Accessed November 20, 2021.
  17. Bridges | Erin Jones | TEDxUofW. TEDx Talks. 2017. Accessed November 20, 2021.
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