THE BRONX - A state Supreme Court ruled Friday the Department of Education cannot close 19 city schools.

The DOE voted to close the schools due to failing graduation rates and poor attendance. The United Teachers Federation opposed the decision through a lawsuit.

In the judge's final disposition, she declared the decision null and void, saying the DOE did not properly follow the law. The DOE can still attempt to close the schools; however, it will have to start the process over again.

The city's Law Department issued a statement Friday saying, "We are disappointed by today's ruling, which, unless it is reversed, requires the Department of Education to keep open schools that are failing our children."