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Only About Half Of New City Funded Pre-K Slots Are Filled

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Only about half of the new city-funded pre-k seats are spoken for so far. But organizers are confident of a late surge to fill the remaining spots before January.

About 1,200 of the 2,000 available seats are filled, says the mayor's Education Secretary Otis Hackney.

"They are first come, first serve. And we know that as the word gets out more, the sense of urgency on the parents' side to take advantage of those seats will pick up."

The deadline is the end of the month, and Hackney says his office is working to get the word out that seats are available at 93 city locations.

"We're canvassing high-need areas. We have volunteers that are knocking on doors. We are meeting with different organizations to give them materials to hand out."

Children who are three and four years old, who live in Philadelphia, are eligible.

The city says the program is being funded next year, even if a legal challenge to the sweetened beverage tax is successful.

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