A federal judge's decision to deny class-action status to plaintiffs in a closely watched civil case means the shuttering of most of the nearly 50 Chicago public schools slated for closure will likely go ahead. But the 26-page ruling by Judge John Lee leaves open the possibility he could order a halt to the closure of individual schools named in lawsuits filed by parents. Lee's main ruling on a request for a temporary injunction is expected within days. In an important procedural decision, Lee found issues in the dozens of schools marked for closing were too dissimilar to treat simultaneously. Parents say students with disabilities and African-Americans are inordinately harmed by the closures. The nation's third largest school district says underuse of buildings drove the closing decisions.
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