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CPS legally leaves door open to keeping the lights on at 10 of 50 schools set to close

Updated: July 15, 2013 3:43PM

For now, Chicago Public Schools has legally left the door open to the possibility of halting 10 of its 50 historic school closings.

Until a new judge can be assigned to a lawsuit filed by the Chicago Teachers Union and parents from 10 elementary schools, CPS attorneys agreed the district wouldn’t take any permanent actions at the schools in question.

The CTU filed suit a week after the historic May 22 board vote asking for a Cook County judge to halt the closure of Buckingham Special Education Center, Calhoun North, Delano Elementary, King Elementary, Mayo Elementary, Morgan Elementary, Overton Elementary, Stewart Elementary, Stockton Elementary, Williams Elementary and Williams Preparatory Academy Middle School, approved for closing this month.

The CTU and families involved say that the board never should have voted to shutter these particular schools because CPS-hired hearing officers decided against the closings in most of the cases and had safety and special education concerns about the others.

CPS attorney Sally Scott said the district plans to ask to have the entire case thrown out.

Judge Mary Anne Mason recused herself from the case, saying she wouldn’t have enough time to hear the issue before moving onto an appellate court assignment in early July.

“I don’t want to take on a matter as important as this and not devote time to it,” Mason said. “This is much too important an issue.”

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