Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett released a $265 million advance to the teetering Philadelphia School District to help it fill a budget gap.

"The goal of this action is to allow the doors to open on day one and avoid layoffs," Corbett said in an Aug. 6 press conference at his Center City Philadelphia office.

"Financially, this action will assist the district with their cash-flow needs in the short term, reduce the amount that the district will have to borrow and as a result save the district $4 million to $5 million on borrowing costs," he said.

City school superintendent William Hite said the advance doesn't cover an $81 million budget gap that an increase in the city cigarette tax would have covered.

But that tax still needs approval by state lawmakers.

The House of Representatives, which called off a truncated summer session scheduled for Aug. 4, intends to reconvene in Harrisburg on Sept. 15, as does the Senate.

The school district last September had to borrow $50 million to open on time. Hite, at the press conference with Corbett, said he would not rule out layoffs or a shorter school year.

Corbett said $120 million of the advance will come from an extension of a 1% city sales tax.

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