By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the third straight year, there’s been an uptick in the graduation rate for Philadelphia public schools.

The district staged a rally Thursday morning to highlight that achievement.

A drum line performance at Lincoln High preceded the announcement that the school district’s overall graduation rate rose for the third consecutive year, up 1 percent to 67 percent.

Superintendent William Hite said 31 high schools, a little more than half, saw their graduation rates increase, with Lincoln showing one of the biggest jumps.

“Here at Lincoln, your graduation rate jumped over 12 percent. Congratulatons,” said Hite.

Cheryl Logan, the district’s chief academic officer, says one reason is help for students who fail.

“We have many programs for kids who get off track, and end up over-age and under-credited,” she said.

Mayor Jim Kenney says the key is adequate funding after years of cuts.

“Dr. Hite worked very hard with his staff to put those resources back. And you see, when you invest in our kids, they succeed,” said Kenney.

Kenney says that’s why he’s committed to helping the district erase an impending deficit, and returning schools to local control.

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