CHICAGO, May 30 (UPI) -- The Chicago Teachers Union says officials illegally closed 10 elementary schools that independent hearing officers had ruled should stay open.
The union made the charges in a lawsuit in which it asks a judge to stop the closures because the hearing officers, all former judges, had ruled the school district had not complied with its own guidelines about which schools to close, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.
The suit maintains the school board had a "clear duty" not to approve schools recommended for closure by the superintendent because district guidelines were not followed.
State law "allowed the Chicago Public Schools to write their own rules for closing schools but it requires that they follow their own rules," said CTU attorney Robert Block at a news conference.
CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll declined to comment on the lawsuit, but released a statement that "union leadership remains committed to a status quo that is failing too many children."
She called on Chicagoans "to come together and support our children to ensure they have a safe and smooth transition to their new, higher-performing welcoming schools."
At the time of the hearing officers' ruling, school officials said the hearing officers had either misinterpreted state law or exceeded their authority.