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Philadelphia Won't Close Down Schools This Year

Education officials in Philadelphia will not be shutting down any schools in 2014. That decision—following two years in which 30 school buildings were closed—drew praise and relief among parents and students in the city, according to The Notebook.

Schools chief William R. Hite Jr. made the announcement late last week, saying that some of this year's school closures had resulted in some students being moved from higher-performing schools to lower-performing ones, according to The Notebook. Hite said that this year academic needs had to be paramount to financial ones.

The district shut down two dozen schools and laid off thousands of teachers and support staff in 2013—a move that reeled the city—only to be followed by a fiscal standoff with the state that nearly prevented school from opening on time in August.

Philadelphia has been grappling with some of the steepest enrollment losses of any major urban district in the nation, much of it due to the demand for charter school seats. This year, the district has 131,000 students, down from 137,000 last year, according to the Associated Press. Hite said that downward trend would continue to make additional school closings possible.


 

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