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Detroit Schools See First Enrollment Increase in 15 years

For the first time in 15 years, Detroit school district's enrollment has increased, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Student enrollment for the 2017-18 school year increased to 50,100 from 45,500—a jump of 3.8 percent, the paper reported.

The enrollment boost comes with some benefits: the district will get an extra $11 million in per-pupil funding from the state, the paper reported.

Some of the new students are from now-shuttered charter schools, while others moved to Detroit public schools from the Education Achievement Authority, a state-run district for some of the state's lowest-performing schools, which also shut down in June, the paper said.

The district, which has long struggled with declining enrollment and dwindling finances, is moving in a new direction.

After nearly eight years under state emergency management, seven new members were sworn in to the school board in January.

The new school board hired Nikolai Vitti, the former superintendent in Florida's Duval County School in Jacksonville, who grew up in nearby Dearborn Heights.  Vitti started on July 1 and has been touting a "renaissance" of the school district.

While the local teachers' union wanted the school board to hire Alycia Meriweather, who was then serving as interim superintendent, as the permanent schools chief, union members appear to be on board with Vitti's vision for the district. Meriweather remains with the district, serving as Vitti's top deputy superintendent. 

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