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School District Makes 12 Changes To Closure Plan

By Mike DeNardo, Jericka Duncan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia schools superintendent William Hite has fine-tuned his recommendation to permanently close dozens of Philadelphia public schools.  Ten schools are now off of the closure list, but two have been added.

Superintendent Hite is now recommending that 29 Philadelphia schools close permanently in June, down from 37 (see related story).

"In the revised set of proposals," Hite said, "we have fewer students that are moving to schools that are not performing as well."

Ten schools have been removed from the closure list, including Strawberry Mansion High School and Meade Elementary, where children, parents and members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers held a rally outside Tuesday with signs that read "Save our Schools."

But two schools -- Beeber Middle School and MH Stanton Elementary School -- are now recommended to be closed.

The revisions came from public input after the original closure announcement in December.   Hite says this revised plan will save $24½ million per year -- although not right away.

"We, as you indicated, would not realize that $24.5 million in year one because some of those monies would have to be reinvested in the receiving schools," Hite told KYW Newsradio this morning.

These ten were removed from the closing/merger/relocation list:

-- Meade Elementary
-- Duckrey Elementary
-- Cooke Elementary
-- Morris Elementary
-- McCloskey Elementary
-- Gompers Elementary
-- Overbrook Elementary
-- AMY at James Martin Middle
-- Strawberry Mansion High
-- Lankenau High

These schools were added to the closure list:
-- MH Stanton Elementary
-- Beeber Middle

Read the Revised School District "Master Plan" (.pdf format)

The School Reform Commission begins hearings on the revised closure plan this coming Thursday, with a vote scheduled for March 7th.

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