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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Chicago Schools Will Have Full Year Despite Ruling, Mayor Says


Despite a judge's decision Friday to toss Chicago Public Schools' civil rights lawsuit against the state, Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared late Friday that classes will not end early as CPS officials had threatened.

"The children of the city of Chicago will be in school until the end of the school year," Emanuel said at news conference late Friday afternoon.

The mayor did not say where the city will get the money to keep schools open.

CPS officials had threatened to end classes three weeks early to save money if they didn’t get a favorable ruling Friday. A huge pension bill is due in June, and CPS is running out of cash.

School leaders had hoped the lawsuit would push the state and Gov. Bruce Rauner to kick in more cash for Chicago.

Judge Franklin Ulyses Valderrama on Friday denied a CPS motion for an injunction seeking to bar the state from distributing education funds in a discriminatory manner. He also ruled in favor of the state's motion to dismiss the case, but he is allowing CPS to come back with a new argument.

CPS had argued that the way the state provides funds to public schools violates the civil rights of Chicago's predominantly-minority student population. 

Students in Chicago public schools make up 20 percent of all Illinois students, but the district receives only 15 percent of state school funding. 

Chicago schools’ CEO Forrest Claypool had said the judge's decision could mean the district will end the school year three weeks early, due to a lack of funds. 

  • The Associated Press contributed to this report
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