CHICAGO -- A federal appeals court late Wednesday overturned a lower court's ruling that allowed Chicago's public schools to stay open without a balanced budget.

The Chicago Board of Education will shut down at midnight today as a result of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit unless the board can balance its $2.8 billion fiscal 1994 budget, which has a $298 million deficit. The fiscal year began Sept. 1.

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