Three new charter schools will open to St. Louis City residents in August.
Jamaa Learning Center will serve kindergarten through eighth grade, Preclarus Mastery Academy will enroll grades 5-to-12 and South City Prep for grades 5-to-12 will offer a year-round academic calendar.
Mayor Francis Slay announced the new charter schools this morning and said education is the number one issue in the City of St. Louis.
"Too many of our children are in substandard schools," Slay said. "Too many of our families are forced to leave neighborhoods they love, or don't want to move to the city, because of schools. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me they would move out of the city, or not move into to the city because of schools, I would be a very wealthy person."
The latest U.S. Census figures show that between 2000 and 2010, the city lost 22,000 school-aged children, three-fourths of the city's population net loss. Slay says the new charter schools will help the city reverse that trend.