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Judge Blocks 19 Planned School Closures in NYC

(CN) - A Manhattan judge reversed a New York City decision to close 19 poorly performing schools on the grounds that education officials violated state law and failed to follow proper procedure when ordering the closures.

New York Supreme Court Judge Joan Lobis found that New York City didn't comply with education law when it failed to provide sufficient details in its Education Impact Statements of what the closings would mean.

The city now must reissue the impact statements for the 19 schools before it can find seats for 8,500 students who had applied to those schools.

Lobis also ordered more public meetings to gather community input.

The judge recognized the "inconvenience" caused by her ruling, but added that the court "cannot overlook what it reluctantly concludes are significant violations of the education law by respondents."

The Panel for Education Policy voted Jan. 26 to close the schools. The United Federation of Teachers and the NAACP filed suit to stop the closings.

City officials said they plan to appeal the decision.

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