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Corbett Rolls Out Eleventh Hour Plan To Rescue Philadelphia’s Public Schools

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — With the legislature poised to leave town early this week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has taken the wraps off an emergency funding proposal intended to raise $140 million for Philadelphia’s public schools.

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley says one big chunk of the money would come from the release of $45 million dollars that have been withheld by the federal government for years.

“This money is part of a proposed settlement reached between Pennsylvania and the federal Department of Health and Human Services,” he says.

Another big part of the package would involve a proposal to divert revenue from city sales taxes to the school district. Although that wouldn’t take effect until the 2014-15 fiscal year, the plan would involve borrowing $50 million in the new fiscal year against the future revenues. The sales tax part however, would be contingent on district reforms.

Another major source of revenue — $30 million – would come from legislation related to Philadelphia’s property tax collections, but the prospects for passage of that legislation before summer recess are bleak.

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