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Price v. Board of Education of City of Chicago

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

July 2, 2014

WILLIETTE PRICE, on behalf of herself and all persons similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO and BARBARA BYRD-BENNETT, in her official capacity, Defendants-Appellees

Argued January 22, 2014

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 11-cv-4463 -- Edmond E. Chang, Judge.

For WILLIETTE PRICE, on behalf of herself and all persons similarly situated, Plaintiff - Appellant: Thomas H. Geoghegan, Attorney, Despres, Schwartz & Geoghegan, Chicago, IL.

For Board of Education of The City of Chicago, BARBARA BYRD-BENNETT, in her official capacity, Defendants - Appellees: Sally J. Scott, Attorney, Franczek Radelet P.C., Chicago, IL.

Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and MANION and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 606

Williams, Circuit Judge

Williette Price was part of a massive economic layoff of Chicago Public Schools (" CPS" ) teachers in 2010. She argues that, as a tenured teacher, she had a property interest in continued employment as a teacher anywhere within CPS before being laid off, and that the Board of Education violated the Due Process Clause by depriving her of that property interest. Because Price cannot point to any source that gives her the type of property interest she asserts, we affirm the lower court's decision to dismiss her complaint for failure to state a claim.

I. BACKGROUND

This case was decided on a motion to dismiss, and so we recite all the factual allegations in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, Williete Price. See Craig v. Rich Twp. High Sch. Dist. 227, 736 F.3d 1110, 1115 (7th Cir. 2013).

In 2010, Price was a full-time tenured CPS teacher who was working in a city-wide program to improve the classroom teaching skills of other teachers. In all of her evaluations, she was rated excellent or superior.

In June 2010, the Board of Education (the " Board" ) authorized then-CPS CEO

Page 607

Ron Huberman (who has since been substituted by his replacement, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, in the complaint) to " honorably discharge" what turned out to be roughly 1,289 public school teachers, some of whom were tenured. At the same time as the layoffs, Price alleges CPS was continuing to hire teachers to fill vacant positions, including new hires with no prior classroom experience or prior evaluations. Price alleges that she was not considered for any of these vacant positions, nor was she given any notice of existing vacant positions prior to her layoff. She further ...


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