NCASA, NCPAPA, Others Seeking Revisions In Principal Pay Provision In Senate Bill 718
Last week the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) shared details on new Senate Bill 718 that proposes several structural improvements to the current principal pay plan adopted by lawmakers in 2017 and implemented in the 2017-2018 school year. This week our advocacy team has worked with the primary bill sponsor, Sen. Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph); one of our core affiliates, the N.C. Principals and Assistant Principals’ Association (NCPAPA); the legislative liaison for the State Board of Education; and others to discuss needed changes to one provision of the bill.
S718, which Sen. Tillman co-sponsored with Sen. David Curtis (R-Lincoln), now includes one provision that would delay any pay increase for principals until January 2019, even if all other school personnel and state employees are provided state-funded raises to take effect July 1. In our discussions with Sen. Tillman, he was emphatic that this was never his intent and asked us to work on some bill revisions that would accomplish the following goals:
- Ensure principals receive any pay increases that come with the budget this session, to be effective July 1 of this year and on the same date in future years when state-funded raises are approved by the General Assembly.
- Place principals on the 2018-19 principal salary schedule July 1 based on the school’s ADM as of that date and three years of school growth scores from 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 and keep that salary in effect through Dec. 31, 2018.
- Adjust any principal’s salary as needed January 1, 2019 (and on that date in future years) to reflect changes in the school’s final ADM and/or the previous year’s school growth scores, both of which are released each fall. This would eliminate the current law’s requirement for one or two retroactive pay adjustments back to the start of the fiscal year on July 1 for some principals and instead allow only one mid-year pay adjustment effective from January 1 going forward and not retroactive.
The bill also extends through June 30, 2019 the hold-harmless protection for veteran principal salaries that had been set to expire this June. That protection, along with existing state law ensuring no loss in pay for principals who would earn more if paid on either the teacher or assistant principal salary schedule, will remain in effect, if rolled into this year’s state budget as expected, and will help reduce mid-year decreases in salary for principals whose ADM or school growth scores see a decline.
NCASA, which had received numerous concerns about the current bill’s stated delay in principal pay increases until January 1, appreciates the collaborative effort on this proposed revision, which Sen. Tillman hopes to move forward as a technical correction to the state budget after its adoption, in S718 or other legislation. While the bill does not eliminate all pay fluctuations associated with the performance-based principal pay schedule first implemented for 2017-18, this revision NCASA and others are seeking would improve the timing of any required change and prevent principals who see a decline in ADM and/or growth scores from having to repay a portion of salary collected between July 1 and the release of updated information on the components that determine their pay.
Any school administrators who have concerns about the proposed revision described here should email NCASA Executive Director Katherine Joyce, firstname.lastname@example.org, immediately as ongoing work on this legislation is time-sensitive.
NCASA remains committed to seeking additional improvements and even more stability in the principal pay schedule when lawmakers convene their long session in January 2019, and we hope several provisions from S718 will be included in the state budget being written into Senate Bill 99 set for release this holiday weekend.