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Philadelphia students rejoice at news that their Catholic high schools will remain open

Alex Brandon / AP

Students from Archbishop Prendergast High School react on Friday after it is announced that they will merge schools with Monsignor Bonner High School, and not be closed.

Alex Brandon / AP

Students from Archbishop Prendergast High School react after the announcement.

Alex Brandon / AP

Students from Archbishop Prendergast High School react before news is announced that they will merge schools with Monsignor Bonner High School, and not be closed, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012 in Drexel Hills, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Alex Brandon / AP

Students from Monsignor Bonner High School wait on Friday for an announcement about whether they will merge schools with Archbishop Prendergast High School, and not be closed.

NBC Philadelphia reports: Archbishop Charles Chaput made the announcement on Friday afternoon, saying the community support was substantial. He also pressed state lawmakers to do more - much more - to help.

In his message to lawmakers, Archbishop Chaput said, "we need expanded EITC (education-incentive tax credits) funds and opportunity scholarships to help our schools survive."  The Archbishop said that without that support, the fate of the schools would be right back to where they were a few weeks ago, when they were slated for closure.