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NCASA, NCPAPA Applaud Significant Investment in Principal Pay

North Carolina Legislative Building RALEIGH | The new state budget released late yesterday culminates a two-year investment of $52.4 million in  improving pay for principals and assistant principals. 

The plan includes $12 million in new funds to raise base pay for all principals, providing an average increase of 6.9% in 2018-19, effective July 1 and resulting in a 13.1% average increase since 2016-17.  

"This is a significant investment in school leadership that provides great progress on our top legislative priority for this biennium in making North Carolina principal pay more competitive in the Southeast and nation," said Katherine Joyce, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA). "We appreciate our state leaders' continuing focus on this critical issue." 

The plan also includes several structural  improvements to the principal salary schedule first implemented for 2017-18. Those include:

  • Combining two previous principal bonus plans into one, rewarding principals whose schools score in the top 50% of student growth. At least 50% of principals will receive this bonus based on a graduated scale of growth rankings that range from $10,000 to $1,000, with those amounts doubled to range from $20,000 to $2,000 for principals of low-performing schools. 
  • Extending for another year the hold harmless provisions preventing principal and assistant principal salaries from dipping below 2016-17 levels. 
  • Preventing retroactive pay cuts for some principals by setting a January 1 effective date for all salary changes related to ADM (student enrollment) fluctuations and/or a change in school growth status. 
  • Increasing assistant principal pay by 2%, moving their average salary to 19% above teachers on the "A" teacher salary schedule, an increase from the 17% that they currently receive. 

"These changes reflect many of the concerns we and NCASA raised on behalf of principals once the current pay plan was implemented," said Dr. Shirley Prince, Executive Director of the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals' Association (NCPAPA). "We remain committed to working with lawmakers and our other state leaders to making additional principal pay plan and funding improvements at the earliest possible date."