Southeastern PA

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett releasing $45 million for Philadelphia schools

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said he is releasing $45 million for the Philadelphia schools that his administration had held up as the state's largest school district goes through its worst financial crisis in memory.

Corbett said Wednesday that a letter received the day before from the Philadelphia school superintendent, William Hite, had convinced him that district officials were meeting his goals for improvements.

"I firmly believe that all students deserve a safe, high-quality education that will prepare them for college and career," Corbett said. "I also believe that fiscal and academic reforms are necessary for the long-term survival of the School District of Philadelphia."

Corbett also said he and his wife are sending their sympathies to the family of Laporshia Massey. Corbett's Department of Education is looking into the 12-year-old girl's apparently asthma-related death after attending a school without a nurse on site.

A spokesman for Corbett said Massey's death and the release of the money aren't connected.

Corbett's budget secretary, Charles Zogby, said the district has shown enough steps toward improving the financial health and academic performance of the district to release the money.

Hite said he will use the money to rehire about 400 employees, but he said he doesn't plan to rehire any nurses because the district is meeting the state's caseload standard.

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