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Trial in Atlanta Cheating Case Will Proceed Without Beverly Hall

The criminal trial for a dozen former Atlanta educators for roles they are accused of playing in a widespread cheating scandal in the city's schools is set to open in two weeks, but former superintendent Beverly Hall's failing health has postponed her trial indefinitely.

Earlier this month, Atlanta-area media outlets reported that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter ruled that the trial for the 12 defendants would begin August 11 without Hall, who is being treated for Stage IV breast cancer. Media reports have described Hall's condition as very grave, and one of her defense lawyers said in an early July hearing that Hall's life expectancy is uncertain, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Charges against Hall, however, are pending and she would still stand trial if her health improves.

Hall, who was indicted last year on racketeering charges that allege she either knew about or ignored widespread cheating on Georgia's state tests, was one of 13 former Atlanta educators to plead innocent to the charges. Twenty-one other former Atlanta educators struck plea deals with prosecutors.

A one-time national superintendent of the year, Hall retired from the 48,000-student Atlanta district in 2011 after 12 years at the helm. She was widely admired for the steady academic progress that the city school system appeared to have made on her watch.

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