The first two schools in what is now Washington opened in the early 1830s. One school, at the site of present-day Spokane, was for Native Americans. The other was for children of Hudson’s Bay Company employees at Fort Vancouver. The first territorial legislature provided for the establishment of common schools in 1854, but progress was hampered by the lack of public funds. The first high school in Washington Territory was a private school founded at Olympia in 1855. Public secondary schools developed rapidly after Washington was admitted to the Union in 1889.
Washington’s present statewide system of free public education dates from the passage of the so-called barefoot schoolboy law in 1895, which guaranteed state support for the education of all children in Washington. The state system of public education is supervised by a superintendent of public instruction.
The largest and oldest of Washington’s state-supported institutions of higher learning is the University of Washington, founded in 1861 in Seattle. Other schools of note include Seattle University; Seattle Pacific University; Washington State University, in Pullman; Eastern Washington University, in Cheney; Central Washington University, in Ellensburg; Western Washington University, in Bellingham; The Evergreen State College, in Olympia; Whitman College, in Walla Walla; Gonzaga University, in Spokane; and the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University, both in Tacoma. "Washington" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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