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Philadelphia-Area Catholic High Schools Close Due To Ongoing Teachers' Strike

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Most Philadelphia-area Catholic high schools will be closed on Wednesday because of the ongoing teachers' strike.

Talks aimed at ending the week-old strike by lay Catholic high school teachers are continuing.  The teachers union says there has been progress on seniority but the archdiocese hasn't budged from its desire to hire part-time teachers (see previous story).

Archbishop Wood High School, in Warminster, Pa., will remain open on Wednesday because it had already lost one class day due to weather, but all 17 Catholic high schools will be closed beginning Thursday.

About 16,000 students in the five-county Philadelphia area are affected.  Letters notifying parents of the temporary schools shutdown were distributed today.

The Archdiocese, in an earlier statement, claims the union is still seeking a 14.5% raise over three years and the teachers haven't addressed what the Archdiocese calls "educational reform issues."

Seven hundred lay teachers at 17 area Catholic high schools have been on strike since last Tuesday.  Schools had been open during the walkout, with classes being conducted by religious staffers.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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