Philadelphia opening 3 new public high schools amid struggles, uncertainty over future funding

Associated Press

Officials in Philadelphia say the opening of three new high schools shows the troubled district is trying to innovate even while massive layoffs loom.

Classes start Monday for about 135,000 students. Education advocates say it will be another tough year, with reduced staffs and fewer resources.

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The new schools are housed in existing buildings and aim to provide small, supportive environments. Superintendent William Hite will help unveil one called The LINC, which stands for Learning in New Contexts.

Meanwhile, the district is waiting for state lawmakers to approve a cigarette tax when they return from summer break Sept. 15.

The tax is expected to generate $49 million for Philadelphia schools in the current year. Without it, officials say more than 1,000 people could lose their jobs.