Hearing On CPS School Closing Lawsuits Begins

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A federal judge on Tuesday will hear testimony in the opening day of an injunction hearing aimed at halting the closure of 50 Chicago public schools.

The hearing, according to the Associated Press, could last as long as three days, though a ruling is not expected yet this week or even this month.

If U.S. District Judge John Lee allows the case to proceed and denies the district’s motion for a dismissal, a trial date would still be months away, according to the Chicago Tribune, very possibly after Aug. 26, the district’s first day of school.

The hearing was slated to begin at 10 a.m. and was expected to include testimony from both district officials and parents, ABC Chicago reports.

The hearing pertains to two lawsuits filed in May. The complaints, filed by the Chicago Teachers Union on behalf of CPS parents, center on the disproportionate effect that the closings will have on students with disabilities — 5,000 districtwide — and African-American students at impacted schools, specifically claiming that the schools’ proposed shutterings violate the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Illinois Civil Rights Act.

(Read the federal complaints.)

Hearings in a third lawsuit filed with the Cook County Circuit Court in response to the school closings — aimed at thwarting the closure of 10 schools the district’s independent hearing officers argued should have remained open — are not slated to begin until the end of July.

CPS officials have continued to defend the school closings as necessary due to the district’s $1 billion budget deficit and their claim that the closing schools’ facilities were being “underutilized.”

Related on HuffPost:

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Read more http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/16/chicago-school-closing-la_n_3604755.html?utm_hp_ref=chicago

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