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Pa. Plan To Bail Out Philadelphia Schools Shifts

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(The state capitol in Harrisburg.  File photo)

(The state capitol in Harrisburg. File photo)

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Philadelphia state senator says a rescue package for Philadelphia schools is evolving and that the latest proposal no longer includes giving the city the power to increase cigarette taxes there.

Democratic Sen. Anthony Williams said Sunday that Gov. Tom Corbett and Republicans who control the Legislature instead are considering allowing Philadelphia to divert up to $120 million in city sales tax revenue to its schools.

Philadelphia officials had sought $120 million in additional state aid and $45 million from increased cigarette taxes to help bail out a $304 million school budget deficit and reverse thousands of layoffs.

But House GOP leaders resisted the cigarette tax increase. The state budget will give Philadelphia schools an extra $14 million.

Meanwhile, Williams says efforts are ongoing to find another source of state money to help Philadelphia’s schools.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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