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Phila. School District Superintendent Says Without New Money, Layoffs Could Happen This Week

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Superintendent Dr. William Hite says a cash advance from the state doesn't solve the district's $81 million deficit. (credit: Mike DeNardo/KYW)

Superintendent Dr. William Hite says a cash advance from the state doesn’t solve the district’s $81 million deficit. (credit: Mike DeNardo/KYW)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A key state lawmaker says he’s “committed” to getting the cigarette tax passed to fund Philadelphia schools. But the superintendent says that doesn’t guarantee that classes will begin on time.

State house majority leader Mike Turzai met with Superintendent Willliam Hite for about an hour at school headquarters. Turzai pledged he’d work to pass the cigarette tax.

“We’re committed to working hard to resolve this just as we did on July 2 when we passed the legislation,” he said.

The question is when. The House doesn’t come back until September 15. Hite says Turzai promised to help then.

“What he provided was assurances that when they return to session early in September, that this would be one of the things that they would take up,” Hite said.

Turzai called Governor Corbett’s advancing money to the school district “crucial.” But Hite says without new money he can bank on, more than 1000 layoff notices could go out this Friday, when he announces whether schools will open September 8 as scheduled.

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