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After protests fail to sway officials, Philly contends with decision to close 23 schools

Philadelphia school parents, students and staff are coming to grips with the impending closure of 23 public schools.

University City High School Principal Timothy Stults said Friday his students are grieving the loss of their school, which will close in June.

A day earlier, officials voted to shutter about 10 percent of the city's schools because of the district's dire financial condition. Hundreds of protesters staged a massive rally before the meeting, and 19 people were arrested on disorderly conduct charges.

Philadelphia joins a string of urban districts — including Pittsburgh, Detroit and Milwaukee — that have sought to offset low enrollment and high maintenance costs through mass closures.

Stults said his school is in poor shape, but attendance and achievement have gone up in recent years.

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