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updated: 3/27/2013 1:21 PM

Ministers urge Emanuel to halt school closures

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Associated Press

A group of Chicago ministers is calling on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to call off a plan to close 54 Chicago Public Schools.

The ministers went to City Hall on Wednesday with their plea, hours before the Chicago Teachers Union and other opponents plan a large rally downtown.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Emanuel says he's done negotiating and is moving on to the implementation phase.

The city says closures are needed because many CPS schools re half-empty and academically failing. Opponents say the plan disproportionately affects minority students and won't save money. They worry kids will have to cross gang boundaries to get to a new school.

The union says its protest will start at Daley Plaza and proceed to City Hall and the Chicago Board of Education offices.

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