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Failing finances lead Philadelphia to close 23 schools

Twenty-three schools in Philadelphia, Penn., will close due to struggling finances, city School Reform Commission members voted, on Thursday.

This is one of the largest mass school closings in history, United Press International reports.

The district was facing serious financial problems and had recently borrowed $300 million just to pay bills through the end of the year, UPI says. Still, the decision to close the schools was not fully supported. UPI says 19 protesters — including Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers — were arrested for blocking SRC members from entering their meeting.

And after the vote, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, audience members shouted their dissatisfaction: "Shame on you! SRC needs to go!"

Originally, SRC was considering the shuttering of 37 schools. As it was, the group spared four from the final list of closings, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The 23 facilities will shut at the end of the year

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