HARRISBURG - Philadelphia leaders launched a full-court press Tuesday on the General Assembly, seeking support for funding to cover the projected $304 million school budget shortfall.

At separate news conferences, Mayor Nutter and City Controller Alan Butkovitz called on lawmakers to find money to stave off the school funding crisis as they head into the frenzied final lap toward the June 30 budget deadline.

"We cannot and will not let the students down," said Nutter, who was joined by School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. and representatives of charter schools in a show of support for all public schools.

Nutter said lawmakers were aware of the efforts of the School Reform Commission to reduce costs by closing schools and trimming staff.

"We're at least being heard," said Nutter, adding that Philadelphia was the largest of 12 school districts statewide facing fiscal problems.

Nutter is seeking an additional $120 million in school funding from the state.

Under the GOP budget, approved Monday by the House Appropriations Committee, the School District would receive $1.3 billion, an increase of almost $31 million.

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald said he had not seen the details of the GOP budget proposal and could not say whether that increase would mean that the city could ask for less money in the final rounds of budget negotiations.

Steve Miskin, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) called the additional $31 million a "substantial amount of taxpayer dollars" and said Philadelphia schools' share of the state budget already "far exceeds" the state average. Besides state funds, the School District hopes to get an additional $60 million from City Council and more than $100 million in givebacks from the teachers' union.

Nutter and Hite also worked the halls of the Capitol in support of legislation to enable the city to raise the per-drink tax on alcoholic beverages to 15 percent, to impose a $2-per-pack tax on cigarettes, and to crack down on delinquent tax collections. That piece would raise an additional $95 million for city schools, Nutter said.

He also proposed a bipartisan commission to address the state's school-funding formula based on enrollment and student need.

"This is the moment to solve this crisis," he said, "so we're not back here year after year."

Hours later, Butkovitz, speaking at a separate news conference in the Capitol, said the GOP legislature should end corporate subsidies and shift the focus to restoring school funding.

"The state's not meeting anyone halfway," said Butkovitz, who was joined by other controllers and school board members from the Better Choices for Pennsylvania Coalition.

He and others want to freeze the phaseout of the Capitol Stock and Franchise tax and implement a tax on natural-gas drilling to raise an estimated $560 million for education.