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Nutter Happy To See Schools Opening But Presses Pa. Legislature For Action

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Mayor Nutter says he is relieved that Philadelphia public schools will open on time this fall, but he is repeating his call on state lawmakers to quickly approve the cigarette-tax bailout plan.

The mayor found little to smile about in the superintendent's announcement, despite the fact that schools will open on time.  That's because the interim cuts imposed now by Hite will, in Nutter's view, affect learning.

"The cuts now being proposed will hamper further the educational attainment opportunities for our young people here in Philadelphia," Nutter said.

And the mayor says the superintendent's decision doesn't change the far larger question:  whether and when Harrisburg will approve a cigarette surtax for Philadelphia.

"The bottom, bottom line of all of this is we still need the General Assembly to pass, finally, a cigarette tax-authorizing piece of legislation (and) get it to the governor's desk as quickly as possible," Nutter said.

The longer that takes, he said, the worse the district's plight becomes.

"My recollection is about 1.6 million dollars a week, nearly seven million a month, that the district doesn't get as this delay, this no action, continues in Harrisburg," Nutter noted.


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