State Budget Includes Philly Schools Rescue Package - FOX 13 News

State Budget Includes Philly Schools Rescue Package

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PHILADELPHIA -

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and state lawmakers have come to the rescue of the struggling Philadelphia School District with an estimated $140-million bailout package.

The district is trying to come back from a budget deficit of $304 million and thousands of layoffs.

The governor says the district will be able to raise $30 million through a tougher tax collection system.

Another $45 million that would have been paid back to the federal government will now be passed on to Philadelphia schools.

And $16 million extra was put in as part of the newly-approved state budget.

However, there are still big problems for the school district because this package doesn't come close to what they need.

Corbett was zero-for-three with his big ideas in this budget. There will be no privatizing the state's liquor stores, no transportation funding plan and no public employee pension reform.

We will see if he goes 0-for-4 in the coming days when the legislature takes up his ideas to give Philadelphia's public schools more money.

The city didn't do so well in Harrisburg, either, as Mayor Michael Nutter's plan to add $2 a pack to the cost of cigarettes to raise $45 million a year for the school also did not get passed.

The district still wants almost as much as the state is kicking in from union concessions, mostly from teachers, worth $133 million.

So, we still have no idea where the district stands financially.

Without help, Philadelphia school officials say they would have to cut art, music and athletics programs.

FOX 29's Steve Keeley was live outside district headquarters in Spring Garden with more details in this video report.

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