By Mike DeNardo
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A timely start to the Philadelphia school year is even more uncertain at word the state house won’t consider the cigarette tax on Monday.
Superintendent Dr. William Hite has said 1,300 layoff notices would go out August 15 without money from the cigarette tax.
“I’m annoyed, disappointed and frustrated, because we’re at a point two weeks before we have to make some operational decisions to educate children,” Hite said.
He says a cash advance from the state doesn’t solve the district’s $81 million deficit.
“If in fact it is sending us money that is already in our budget earlier in the year, that does not solve the problem,” Hite said.
Mayor Michael Nutter said schools won’t be opening on time in September because of the inaction by the House Republican leadership.
“As a result, Philadelphia schools will not be able to open on time and safely, because they chose not to come and do their jobs,” Nutter said.
Hite says everything is on the table at this point, including shrinking the work force and shortening the school year.
“The schoolchildren of Philadelphia unfortunately will suffer again, not only from a lack of general funding. but now, schools won’t even open on time,” Nutter said.
Hite called the news “devastating.”
“It is an absolute disgrace what is going on here and no other school district in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, no other set of parents, no other county, no other school district, would ever be subjected to this kind of nonsense and irresponsibility as we are now experiencing today based on the announcement that was made,” Nutter said in an interview with CBS 3.
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