Connelly v. Steel Valley Sch. Dist., No. 11-4206 (3d Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The school district hired Connelly as a teacher. Connelly had nine years of teaching experience, all in Maryland. Because Connelly acquired his teaching experience outside Pennsylvania, the district credited him with only one year. Other new teachers with like experience acquired within Pennsylvania (but not in the district) received at least partial credit for each year they had taught. Connelly’s initial annual salary was $38,023, which was substantially less than the $49,476 Connelly alleged he would have received with full credit for his experience. Connelly‘s initial salary determination continued to adversely affect his pay. In 2011 Connelly filed suit, asserting Fourteenth Amendment claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983: that failure to fully credit his out-of-state teaching experience violated his right to interstate travel under the Privileges and Immunities Clause and denied him equal protection of the law. The district court dismissed, holding that the classification alleged is based on location of teaching experience, not residency. The Third Circuit affirmed, applying rational basis review. A school district may rationally place a premium on teachers who have more experience working within the Pennsylvania school system in order to achieve the legitimate goal of an efficient and effective public education system.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on May 10, 2013.