Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DONALD
S. McKINLAY, Judge, presiding. Affirmed in part, reversed in part
and remanded with directions.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Rehearing denied September 28, 1967.
Plaintiff, a teacher employee of the defendant Board of Education, appeals from a judgment denying the prayer of his complaint for reinstatement to Lane IV of the Board's salary schedule and for salary payments for the periods (a) from the time of his original application for placement on Lane IV to the time of his placement thereon, and (b) from the time of his removal from Lane IV to the present. As error, plaintiff contends that the trial court should not have ruled inadmissible certain evidence offered by plaintiff showing that the Board had, in other cases, construed and applied its own rule so as to vitiate its defense to this action, and, further, that such evidence shows the removal of plaintiff from Lane IV to have been arbitrary and discriminatory.
Effective January 1, 1956, the Board created Lane IV of its salary schedule (pertaining to teacher employees) which sought to reward seniority by providing "steps" on the different "lanes" which were themselves designed to acknowledge academic achievement by different levels of base pay. Lane IV affords the highest base pay of the four "lanes." Section 4-28(g) of the Rules of the Board of Education, agreed by both parties to be the applicable and controlling section, provides:
Lane I requires a Bachelor's Degree, Lane II requires a Master's Degree, Lane III requires a Master's Degree plus thirty-six semester hours of graduate credit approved by the General Superintendent, and Lane IV requires a Ph.D. or Ed.D. Degree.
On September 27, 1956, when plaintiff applied for Lane IV placement, he held a Master of Arts degree from Fordham University; had successfully completed eight graduate semester hours beyond the Master's degree at New York University, fifty-seven semester hours beyond the Master's degree at the University of Chicago, three additional graduate courses at the University of Naples (Italy); had written a doctoral thesis which had been accepted by the University of Naples; and had been awarded the degree of Laurea DiDottore in Lettere, or Doctor of Letters, by that University.
The Board then wrote to the U.S. Office of Education inquiring about plaintiff's degree, and received the following reply:
In response to your letter of October 22, 1956, we are writing you about the education in Italy of Joseph Cinquino.
The credential presented, from the University of Naples, certified that Mr. Cinquino passed examinations on November 24, 1954, for the degree of Doctor of Letters.
On the basis of Mr. Cinquino's M.A. degree from Fordham University in 1934 and 56 2/3 semester hours of graduate work at the University of Chicago between 1947 and 1950 plus the examinations for the degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Naples, it might be considered that Mr. Cinquino's education would correspond roughly to a Doctor's degree in the United States.
Sincerely yours, Alina M. Lindegren
Specialist, Comparative Education Europe and the ...