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State

Judge to hear evidence on Chicago school closings

CHICAGO — A judge in Chicago is set to begin hearing testimony that could lead to a preliminary injunction putting the brakes on plans to close about 50 city public schools.

The sides start presenting evidence Tuesday in an injunction hearing that could last three or four days. But U.S. District Judge John Lee isn't likely to rule for several weeks.

The Chicago Teachers Union filed lawsuits on behalf of parents to stop the nation's third largest school district from pushing ahead with the closures. They say they'll inordinately affect students in predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

But Chicago Public Schools officials say the buildings were underused and closing them will save the cash-strapped district millions of dollars. It says the district has 403,000 students in a system with seats for more than 500,000.

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