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Activists end fast over Philadelphia school cuts

July 1, 2013

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia activists have ended a dayslong fast to protest school district layoffs.

The activists say they are optimistic that the district will rehire staff now that the state and city have come up with some additional money. School officials, however, say it’s too early to know if a state bailout package will allow them to rehire any of the district’s 3,800 laid-off employees.

Over the weekend, lawmakers in Harrisburg crafted a tentative series of proposals that would generate about $141 million for the broke district.

But not all the measures have legislative approval yet. And the district would still need an additional $163 million to cover its deficit.

On Monday, the president of the American Federation of Teachers called the situation “a crisis” and asked U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to intervene.

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