Southeastern PA

Philadelphia schools chief: I need $50M to open schools

PHILADELPHIA - The superintendent of Philadelphia's troubled school system said he can't open city schools next month without another $50 million in funding.

Superintendent William Hite said he's still waiting to learn whether the city will provide the money to help close a $300 million deficit.

Hite has already closed schools and sent out thousands of layoff notices this year.

More than 200,000 students are set to return Sept. 9 to the city's traditional and charter schools.

The School Reform Commission has approved a $2.4 billion spending plan that also eliminates art, music and athletics.

Parents, students and others are alarmed at what they call a "doomsday budget."

The state's largest district, Philadelphia has struggled with rising pension and health care costs, fluctuations in state aid and a student exodus to charter schools.

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