Chicago Has Most Military Schools in Country

CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago has more public military academies than any school district in the country.

Such schools are run by local school districts and affiliated with branches of the military.

But the schools are controversial as critics claim they're are used to recruit for the military, unfairly target poor and minority teens and potentially discriminate against gay students.

The nation's third-largest school district has embraced the concept since its first academy -- affiliated with the Army -- opened in 1999.

This year, Chicago Public Schools opened Marine Military Academy. And last week, the district approved plans for a sixth academy affiliated with the Air Force. It opens in 2009.

School officials say the academies promote leadership, have high attendance and provide more options.

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