Education in Spokane
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total school enrollment in Spokane was 53,000 from 2005-2007. Nursery school and kindergarten enrollment was 5,300 and elementary or high school enrollment was 30,000 children. College or graduate school enrollment was 18,000. From 2005-2007, 90% of people 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 27% had a bachelor's degree or higher. 10% were dropouts; they were not enrolled in school and had not graduated from high school.
Serving the general educational needs of the local population are two public library districts, the Spokane Public Library and the Spokane County Library District. Founded in 1904 with funding from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the Spokane Public Library system comprises of a downtown library overlooking Spokane Falls and 6 branch libraries. Special collections include Northwest history, genealogy, Washington state, and Spokane County government documents.
Colleges & Universities
Higher education institutions in Spokane include the private universities, Gonzaga and Whitworth, and the public Community Colleges of Spokane system as well as an ITT Tech campus. Gonzaga University and Law School, founded by the Jesuits in 1887, offers 43 undergraduate degree programs, 26 masters' degree programs, a doctoral program in educational leadership, and a Juris Doctor (law degree). Gonzaga is one of three schools that offer a law degree in the state of Washington. The school has a total enrollment of about 6,900. Whitworth was founded in 1890 and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The school enrolls about 2,600 students total and offers over 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Some state universities have satellite campuses in Spokane, Eastern Washington University (EWU) and Washington State University (WSU) have operations at the Riverpoint Campus, just adjacent to downtown and across the Spokane River from the Gonzaga campus. The main EWU campus is located 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Spokane in nearby Cheney, and WSU is located 65 miles (105 km) to the south in Pullman. As of fall 2008, the University of Washington's Schools of Medicine and Dentistry will have first-year students at the Riverpoint Campus in partnership with WSU and EWU as part of their RIDE program. The Riverpoint campus is also home to the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute (SIRTI), a Washington state economic development agency that accelerates the development and growth of innovative technology companies, particularly in the Inland Northwest.
Other schools in Spokane include the Spokane Art School and Washington School of World Studies. The Spokane Art School is a non-profit school that currently operates in the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. The Washington School of World Studies, a school affiliated with and housed within the People to People Student Ambassador Program headquarters in Spokane, offers a curriculum of travel, cultural and environmental awareness, community service, and leadership. The school's curriculum is based on state and national standards for social studies, leadership, communication, and world studies and is accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.
Primary & Secondary Education
The Spokane area's three largest school districts are Spokane Public Schools, Central Valley School District, and Mead School District. Spokane Public Schools (District 81) is the main and largest public school system in Spokane and the second largest in the state, serving roughly 30,000 students. The Spokane School District has 6 high schools, 6 middle schools, and 34 elementary schools. The Central Valley School District, and Mead School District, serve approximately 12,000 and 9,100 students, respectively. Smaller districts in the area include the Cheney School District, Deer Park School District, East Valley School District, Freeman School District, Medical Lake School District, Nine Mile Falls School District, Orchard Prairie School District, Riverside School District, and West Valley School District.
A variety of state-approved private elementary and secondary schools augment the public school system, including parochial schools. There are also private schools, such as Saint George's School, Northwest Christian School, Gonzaga Preparatory School, and Saint Michael's Academy.