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Philadelphia school start still uncertain despite $265 million from state

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said the state will advance $265 million to the cash-strapped Philadelphia schools, but Superintendent William Hite said the money won't guarantee buildings will open on time.

Hite said the district still has an $81 million budget gap. He said officials continue to consider layoffs, a delayed start or a shortened school year.

The up-front funding announced by Corbett on Wednesday represents early disbursement of money the schools would normally receive through the academic year.

Corbett said he's disappointed that legislators haven't approved a proposal to let the city enact a $2-per-pack cigarette tax to generate more than $80 million for the state's largest school district.

Corbett and Hite called on lawmakers to pass the tax to assure longer-term funding.


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