Southeastern PA

Cuts to allow Philadelphia schools to open on time

PHILADELPHIA - The superintendent of the cash-strapped Philadelphia School District announced more cuts Friday, but he said schools will open as scheduled next month.

Superintendent William Hite said the cuts include not providing transportation for high school students who live within two miles of schools.

Schools also will be cleaned less frequently and school police officer vacancies will be left unfilled.

Hite called the temporary reductions the "least harmful" decision for schools and families.

Officials had been weighing options such as a delayed start or a shortened school year as well as layoffs to close an $81 million funding gap.

Philadelphia officials and the governor have urged lawmakers to approve a $2-per-pack city cigarette tax to generate more than $80 million for the schools.

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