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Senate Lawmakers Approve Mini Budget Bill Providing Raises For Principals, Step Increases For Teachers

Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs & Policy Manager

The North Carolina Senate approved on Thursday a bill providing raises and bonuses for public school principals, as well as experience step increases for teachers, instructional support personnel, and assistant principals. Members of the Senate Appropriations/Base Budget Committee gave initial approval to the bill on Wednesday, after replacing the contents of House Bill 377 — formerly the “Reduce Testing Act” — with certain provisions pulled from the vetoed state budget. However, the latest version of H377 does not include pay increases and other benefits for teachers, central office employees, and non-certified school personnel. During the same voting session on Thursday, lawmakers also approved House Bill 231, providing pay raises and certain benefits to UNC system and community college employees, as well as a one-time, 0.5% cost-of-living supplement for state retirees.

For principals, House Bill 377 directly mirrors provisions in the state budget that proposed $16.3 million in recurring funds for principal pay raises in both FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21 (effective July 1, 2019), adjustments to ADM tiers on the principal salary schedule, and modifications to principal bonus programs. Specifically, H377 would provide the following for principals, if ultimately enacted into law:

  • Implement a revised principal schedule that increases all ADM levels and include a new ADM tier of 201-400 (previously ADM range from 0-400 paid the same);
  • Adjust the ADM level for the top tier of the schedule from 1,301+ to 1,601+ to reflect larger schools across the state;
  • Modify the existing principal bonus program by increasing the bonus amounts for principals in the Top 5% and Top 10% in statewide growth from $10,000 and $7,500 to $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. If passed, the bill mandates these bonuses be paid no later than November 30, 2019 to qualifying principals employed as of November 1, 2019 and based on their 2018-19 school performance data;
  • Eliminate the previous doubling of the principal bonus for principals in “D” or “F” schools; and
  • Create a new principal recruitment program that provides up to 40 principals currently paid on the “exceeded” growth column of the schedule a $30,000 annual salary supplement for 3 years (for a $90,000 total incentive) if they accept employment at a school in the bottom 5% in school performance. If passed, the bill would instruct the Department of Public Instruction to notify eligible employers by December 1, 2019, that the employer may be selected to participate in the Program.

The North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) would like to thank lawmakers for taking this positive step forward in providing principals with these salary increases, and we encourage the legislature and Governor to quickly finalize this law and approve greatly needed raises for all other school personnel. NCASA will continue to provide members with updates on H377 as it progresses, as well as any other budget developments as they occur.

Elizabeth Yelverton