By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We now know a little more now about the Philadelphia School District’s efforts to plug its budget gap by selling shuttered schools (see related story).

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Bidders had until December 17th to express interest in buying any of the 28 surplus school buildings.   Now, for the first time, the district is disclosing how many offers came in.

“We have 20 offers that were made for a total of seven properties that were up for expedited sale,” says school district spokesman Fernando Gallard.  “We also have 18 responses for 21 properties for which we were asking for an expression of interest.”

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The district was also looking for offers on the entire portfolio of buildings, but Gallard wouldn’t comment on whether any offers were made to buy all 28.

A spokesman for Mayor Nutter says, “The city is encouraged by the response.”

The district has to clear $61 million from building sales this fiscal year.  If not, the city has promised to make up the difference.

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