This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The new school year is being disrupted as civil rights activists call for boycotts here in Chicago and across the nation.

On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, a coalition of groups is organizing protests in 25 cities against school budget cuts and closings.

Here in Chicago the issue of closings remains a hot topic, with nearly 50 schools not opening for the new year.

12,000 mostly minority students are affected.

A demonstration and march is planned from CPS headquarters to City Hall along with the boycott.

Mayor Emanuel pleaded with parents not to hold their children out of school.

He says the boycott reduces the students to pawns in a political battle that the courts have already ruled on.

On the same day parents and students are protesting, the school board will vote on its $5.58 billion budget.

It calls for program and staffing cuts in most schools to close a billion dollar shortfall.