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The Missouri Education System


University of Missouri
University of Missouri

The University of Missouri has campuses at Columbia, Rolla, Kansas City, and St. Louis. The Columbia campus, founded in 1839, was the first state university west of the Mississippi. The state also supports regional state colleges and universities at Cape Girardeau, Joplin, Kirksville, Maryville, Saint Joseph, St. Louis, Springfield, and Warrensburg. Lincoln University, originally established in 1866 for blacks, is located at Jefferson City. The state helps fund a system of junior, community, and technical colleges.

Missouri’s private educational institutions include military schools, junior colleges, four-year colleges, and specialized schools for the study of art and theology. Two well-known universities in the state, Washington University and St. Louis University, both in St. Louis, are privately administered. In 2006–2007 Missouri had 33 public and 96 private institutions of higher learning.

The first schools in the area that is now Missouri were opened by French settlers at St. Louis in the latter part of the 18th century. The state constitution of 1820 provided for a statewide public school system, but little came of that provision. The nation’s first tax-supported kindergarten was opened in St. Louis in 1873, adopting an education method which had been viewed as a radical concept a few years earlier. Missouri now requires that all children ages 7 to 16 enroll in school. Some 13 percent of those children attend private schools. Also permitted and growing in popularity is home-schooling, in which children are taught in a structured manner in the home, usually by parents. In the 2004–2005 school year Missouri spent $8,903 on each student’s education, compared to a national average of $9,910. There were 13.7 students for every teacher (the national average was 15.5). Of those in the state who were older than 25, 86 percent had a high school diploma. "Missouri" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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