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Plaintiffs in Chicago School Closures Lawsuits Denied Class-Action

A federal judge has ruled that plaintiffs suing to halt the wave of school closings in Chicago will not receive class-action status, the Associated Press reports.

The two lawsuits, filed by parents of children who attended schools that were closed this summer, allege that students with disabilities and African-American students are disproportionately affected by the closures of nearly 50 elementary schools. U.S. District Judge John Lee—who is expected to rule in the coming days on whether to halt some or all of the closures—wrote in a 26-page opinion that the plaintiffs did not establish that either black students or students with disabilities would "suffer a common class-wide injury as a result of the changes," AP reported.

School starts on Aug. 26, and district and city officials have been scrambling to prepare for what could be a bumpy start to the new academic year.

Concerns about safety for children who have to travel through high-crime areas to reach their new schools prompted the school system and city police department to develop "safe passage routes" that have been spruced up and will be monitored during mornings and afternoons by community workers.

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