Southeastern PA

Meeting doesn't solve Philadelphia school funding crisis

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A lengthy meeting between top Republican legislative leaders and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is over without a resolution of Philadelphia's school-funding crisis.

Protesters chanted loudly in the Capitol corridors Monday while leaders huddled privately to discuss a bill to authorize Philadelphia to levy a $2-a-pack cigarette tax to generate more than $80 million a year for city schools.

School district officials have said they'll send out 1,300 layoff notices by Aug. 15 and schools won't open as scheduled Sept. 8 unless the bill is passed.

Both houses have signaled support for the bill in preliminary votes but it's been stalled by GOP in-fighting.

House Speaker Sam Smith said the Corbett administration could give the city an advance on its state subsidy for buy time for lawmakers to pass the measure.

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