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Sullivan v. Hannon

OPINION FILED MARCH 22, 1978.

TIMOTHY F. SULLIVAN, JR., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE AND CROSS-APPELLANT,

v.

JOSEPH P. HANNON, GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS AND CROSS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ARTHUR L. DUNNE, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MCNAMARA DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This was an action for declaratory judgment brought by plaintiff, a Chicago public school teacher, against defendants, Board of Education of the City of Chicago and the General Superintendent of Schools. Plaintiff sought to compel the board to place him on a higher salary level in Lane IV of its salary schedule. On February 25, 1977, after a trial without a jury, the trial court ordered that plaintiff be given Lane IV placement prospectively from the date of the order. Defendants appeal contending that the court erred in giving plaintiff such salary placement. Plaintiff has filed a cross-appeal urging that the trial court erred in ordering the placement prospectively rather than from February 9, 1974, when plaintiff claims to have become eligible for Lane IV placement.

The rules of the board provide placement of teachers at different levels, called lanes, of the salary schedule based on training and education. Section 4-28(a) of the rules provides in pertinent part as follows:

"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 * * *

Lane IV requires a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree * * *."

The salary schedule appendix of the collective bargaining agreement between the board and the Chicago Teachers Union, as it refers to regularly appointed teachers, recites in pertinent part as follows:

"Lane IV

Doctorate."

On February 9, 1974, plaintiff received a juris doctor degree and filed an application for placement on Lane IV. The board rejected plaintiff's application because he did not have either a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree as required by its rules.

The School Code gives the board the statutory duty to fix the compensation and terms of employment of teachers, and to provide by rule for the general management and conduct of the schools. The School Code provides in part as follows:

"The board shall, subject to the limitations in this Article, prescribe the duties, compensation and terms of office of its officers and the duties, compensation and terms of employment of its employees * * *." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 122, par. 34-16.

"The board shall exercise general supervision and management of the public education and the public school system of ...


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