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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – Eight new charter schools open this school year in St. Louis city, with one focusing on science and technology for girls. Mayor Francis Slay kicked off the school year at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls.

It`s the first all-girls public stem school in Missouri.

The students asked Mayor Slay about his own education and background.

He hopes the new charter schools create more quality classrooms that encourage learning.

With the eight new additions, there are now 34 charter schools in the city.

The mayor`s office says public school enrollment has increased for the first time in 50 years.