Picket lines, closed doors at Chicago public schools

Teachers formed picket lines outside public schools here Monday in the first official day of their strike to protest the firings of nearly 1,600 colleagues and a shortened academic year. No violence was reported at the schools, where doors were closed to nearly half a million children.

School board members considered seeking a court order to force the more than 20,000 strikers back to the classrooms.

Chicago's teachers struck last week because the city's financial crisis had left them unpaid for three weeks. They got their back pay over the weekend and then voted 3 to 1 to strike over some 2,250 teaching jobs being axed in the $60 million budget cuts proposed by school authorities.

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