Aug 15, 10:23 AM EDT

Philly schools to open on time but cuts announced

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The superintendent of the cash-strapped Philadelphia school district says schools will open as scheduled next month - but a series of cuts will be needed.

Superintendent William Hite said Friday that the measures include not providing transportation for high school students who live within two miles of schools. Schools will also be cleaned less frequently and school police officer vacancies will be left unfilled.

Hite said called the temporary reductions the "least harmful" decision for schools and families.

Officials had been weighing options such as a delayed start or a shortened school year as well as layoffs to close an $81 million funding gap.

Philadelphia officials and the governor have urged lawmakers to approve a $2-per-pack city cigarette tax to generate more than $80 million for the schools.

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