The Philadelphia City Council has agreed to borrow $30 million to shore up the city's cash-strapped public school district.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Superintendent William Hite Jr. said Thursday that the money would stave off any layoffs for the time being. He said "It closes the gap pretty significantly."

School Reform Commission chairman Bill Green said the extra borrowing would provide some leverage as the city seeks more help from state lawmakers in Harrisburg.

The loan would be repaid from proceeds of the city's extra 1 percent sales tax. Council members have approved giving the schools $120 million of the revenue next year.

Helen Gym of Parents United for Public Education thanked members but said closing the deficit would merely maintain a status-quo environment she called "appalling."