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Graduation rate improving in Philadelphia

 A graduate points to cheering audience members on his way to accept his diploma during Penn Charter's 2014 graduation ceremony. (Brad Larrison/for NewsWorks)

A graduate points to cheering audience members on his way to accept his diploma during Penn Charter's 2014 graduation ceremony. (Brad Larrison/for NewsWorks)

There is some good news on the education front, as a study finds more Philadelphia public school students are graduating.

According to the report by Project U Turn, “A Promise Worth Keeping,” 2006 students had only a 50-50 chance of graduation when entering the ninth grade in 2006. Now, now 64 percent receive their diploma.

Schools Superintendent William Hite said the district is now searching for those who fell through the cracks of the system.

“Get them back into a program of study so they can pursue their desires, their hopes and dreams, so they can be productive citizens,” Hite said Wednesday.

All this costs money, said Dr. David Rubin of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“We have to insure there is equitable and stable funding and resources for schools to maintain their communities,” he said.

Philadelphia City Council is expected to take up the issue of school funding now that the election is over.

Project U-Turn is a campaign to resolve Philadelphia’s dropout crisis. The collaborative includes  representation from the school district, the Mayor’s Office of Education, the city’s Department of Human Services, Family Court, foundations, and youth advocacy groups, as well as young people.

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