By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With the teachers union airing ads blasting him, Mayor Michael Nutter is defending his efforts to secure funding for Philadelphia schools.

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The ads have saturated the airwaves recently – a Philadelphia mother saying Mayor Nutter took Governor Corbett’s side as state education funding was cut.

“You’ve let us down. You’ve been starving our kids of the education they deserve,” she said.

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At a City Hall news conference, the mayor said the PFT ads are designed to draw attention away from the concessions that the union is being pressed to make, including contributing toward their health care premiums.

“It’s part of a planned distraction campaign that gets all of you talking about that and not talking about how we select teachers to be in classrooms, how we bring back folks to fill vacancies, whether or not folks should pay something for their health care,” said Nutter.

The mayor said his efforts have generated $155 million in new city funding for schools while state funding was reduced. The teachers’ contract expires Sunday.

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