By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Actor and former Philadelphia public school teacher Tony Danza is joining area lawmakers and union officials in denouncing budget cuts at Philadelphia schools.

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Tony Danza, who spent last year teaching sophomore English at Northeast High School for his reality TV show, says laying off staffers because of budget cuts (see related stories) can have a devastating effect on the kids.

“You know about the nurses. At Northeast we lost shop teachers, art teachers, and it sends a message to the kids that they really don’t matter,” Danza told KYW Newsradio.

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At a news conference in front of School District headquarters, Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Stack (D-Phila.) said Governor Tom Corbett’s cuts in education funding are mostly to blame for the school district’s budget mess.

But Stack adds that the School Reform Commission could have handled its finances better.

“The only way I can describe the last two years in our school district is one word: turmoil,” Stack said Thursday.

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But he acknowledges that he doesn’t see where the district can cut without ending up with a big problem.