By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The new year for Philadelphia schools begins on Tuesday, and administrators are expecting a relatively smooth start.

“This is an opening that feels very different than the others,” said Superintendent William Hite.

Hite says, for the first time in four years, the district starts a school year with contracts in place with the teachers and principals unions.

“That stability allows us to focus on early literacy, to maintain our focus on recruiting and retaining,” he said.

Teachers received summertime math and literacy training, and some early-grade classrooms have been modernized.

But Hite says one remaining concern is the ongoing state budget stalemate, with a billion dollars in state funding in limbo.

He says the district right now has enough cash to carry itself through the fall.

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