By Mike DeNardo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS)  — Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter and superintendent William Hite took their case for more school funding to the state capitol today.

The mayor and the schools chief rallied with charter school leaders and parents outside the statehouse before heading inside to lobby individual legislators, seeking $120 million in extra state money and legislative approval for the city to raise its liquor and cigarette taxes to fund schools (see related story).

Without more state and city revenue, the school district’s budget has just about no money for art, music, and counselors (another related story).

Mayor Nutter says the district has made deep personnel cuts and has closed two dozen schools (related story).   Now, he says, is the time for the state legislature to step up.

“The request that’s being made, filling a $304-million gap, actually brings structural financial stability to the school district in their five-year plan,” he said.

And Nutter says he believes his case for school funding is being heard by the lawmakers who hold the purse strings.

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