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Phoenix-area students head back to school

PHOENIX — Vacation is officially over for thousands of Phoenix-area children, who returned to school Monday.

Phoenix Union High Schools had 27,000 enrolled last year. District spokesman Craig Pletenik said officials were expecting to top that this year.

“Our projections show we should be 200 above that but it’s always a moving number for the first two or three weeks,” he said.

Like other schools across the state, the district will be dealing with a teacher shortage but was able to hire 160 teachers.

That still leaves about 20 open positions, which likely will be filled by retirees.

“The bright spot is that we’re at 100 percent capacity for math teachers and math is always one of our tougher subjects to find teachers for,” Pletenik said.

Also starting back to school Monday were students in Avondale, Tempe, and Tolleson union high school districts and children in Kyrene, Tempe and Litchfield elementary schools.

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