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Nutter, State Legislators Promise They’ll Scrounge For School District Stopgap Funds

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Nutter says he’ll present a package of proposals in a week or so to raise $60 million for city schools.

This morning, the rock band at Jackson Elementary School was playing Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” just before Mayor Nutter and state legislators pledged unity in the effort to fill the school district’s budget hole (See Related Story).

The district says music programs such as the one at Jackson could be eliminated without more funding.

Mayor Nutter says he’s been talking with City Council president Darrell Clarke about ways to raise $60 million on the city side, including raising the liquor-by-the-drink tax.

In addition, the mayor said, “we’ve talked about possibly proposing an increase in the tax on cigarettes. This idea is in a preliminary stage of exploration.”

Nutter says he’ll be ready to present a menu of funding options in about a week.

The district also says it needs $120 million more in state money (see related story).

Pennsylvania state senator Vincent Hughes (D-Phila.), the minority appropriations committee chair, presented options that could shift $722 million in revenue to schools statewide.

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