Seattle: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Seattle Public Schools is the largest district in the state. The system is administered by a nonpartisan, seven-member school board that appoints a superintendent.

The following is a summary of data regarding Seattle's public schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.

Total enrollment: 46,730

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 61

middle schools: 12

senior high schools: 10

other: 16 alternative schools

Student/teacher ratio: 24.3:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $30,826

maximum: $56,217

Funding per pupil: $6,229

More than 300 private and parochial schools, preschools, and special schools also operate in the Seattle metropolitan area.

Public Schools Information: Seattle Public Schools, 815 Fourth Avenue North, PO Box 19116, Seattle, WA 98109; telephone (206)298-7000

Colleges and Universities

The University of Washington (which enrolls nearly 40,000 students), Seattle Pacific University (which enrolls 3,800), and Seattle University (which enrolls 3,900) are the major four-year accredited institutions of higher learning in Seattle. They offer baccalaureate degrees in a wide range of disciplines and graduate degrees in such fields as education, law, software engineering, and medicine. A number of community colleges, vocational schools, and adult-education centers serve Seattle residents.

Libraries and Research Centers

In addition to its main branch downtown, the Seattle Public Library system operates 23 branches throughout the city. Its collection consists of more than 2.5 million items. Special collections focus on aeronautics, African Americans, and Northwest history. In 1998 Seattle voters approved a $196.4 million bond measure to upgrade the Seattle Public Library system with new facilities, technology, and books. The new, 362,987-square-foot facility, which opened May 2004, includes a 275-seat auditorium and parking for 143 vehicles.

The University of Washington's library, said to be the largest and most comprehensive in the Northwest, holds more than 6 million volumes. Special libraries there are affiliated with universities, government agencies, hospitals, and local corporations, which concentrate on such fields as medicine, business, banking, law, and science.

The University of Washington is the heart of research study in Seattle, including the areas of microcomputer architecture, digital systems theory, speech and image processing, artificial intelligence, and metallurgical and ceramic engineering. Other major research facilities are the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Battelle Memorial Institute.

Public Library Information: Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104-1193; telephone (206)386-4636