Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says the city will borrow $50 million to ensure that schools can open on time next month.

Nutter's announcement on Thursday comes a day before a fiscal deadline set by school officials.

The struggling district has laid off about 20 percent of its staff to close a $304 million deficit.

Superintendent William Hite said he needed $50 million by Friday to rehire enough employees to open schools safely on Sept. 9.

Hite thanked the mayor Thursday for pledging the money, saying it will restore critical positions and programs.

Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett is encouraging Philadelphia City Council to authorize borrowing of $50 million to help ensure city schools open on time next month. He issued a statement Thursday that also called on the council to extend the sales tax.

City council members have expressed strong opposition to the borrowing plan, and have produced their own proposal to raise money selling surplus school buildings.

Corbett says the school district also needs an agreement with the teachers' union that would include savings and academic reforms.