By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More than 300 pink slips are going out today and tomorrow in the Philadelphia School District.  But these layoffs are not related to the uncertain fate of the cigarette tax (see related story).

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In all, 342 layoff notices are going out.  Most are school-based.

School district spokeswoman Raven Hill stresses that these are not related to the cigarette tax standoff in Harrisburg.  Rather, she says, they’re the result of principals preparing budgets at their schools.

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About 150 special-education classroom assistants and 150 more noontime aides are among those being laid off, as are eight assistant principals, effective at the end of the month.

Philadelphia schools superintendent William Hite has said if the cigarette tax isn’t approved by August 15th, he would begin to lay off as many as 1,300 more workers as the district tries to close a $93-million budget hole (another related story).

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