A federal judge has begun hearing testimony in Chicago to help him decide if he should order a preliminary injunction halting the closure of about 50 city public schools.
Attorneys for parents seeking the injunction before the new school year starts called the first witnesses Tuesday.
Education professor Pauline Lipman told Judge John Lee that the closings in the nation's third-largest school district inordinately impact African-Americans.
She says 87% of students affected are black, while blacks comprise just 40% of overall students.
Lipman says the closure of 50 schools in a single year in one school district is unprecedented nationally. And she says the consequences aren't clearly known.
City officials say the buildings were underused and closing them will save millions.
The hearing should last several days.
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