SEATTLE (AP) — U.S. education officials say Washington is one of 12 states where too few students are taking required statewide exams.

The Seattle Times reports the state could face sanctions next year if schools do not get more students don't sit for their exams next spring.

The U.S. Department of Education has sent warning letters to Washington and 11 other states, where test participation was below the required 95 percent this past spring.

Washington's participation rate was about 91 percent, because many high school juniors refused to take the exams.

The letter said Washington could face sanctions, up to a loss of federal dollars, if they don't improve test participation rates.