Senate Education Leaders File Bill to Fix Principal Bonus Issue
Elizabeth Yelverton | NCASA Legal Affairs and Policy Manager
K-12 Education Committee Chairs filed a bill today that would clarify an issue regarding bonus awards for some principals who have previously been ruled ineligible. As a result of ambiguous wording within the 2018 State Budget providing the Principal Bonus Schedule, SL 2018-5, Section 8.3(a), certain principals who supervised schools with a D or F School Performance Grade, and greatly improved their schools so that they were in the Top 50% of the Statewide Growth Percentage, became ineligible for doubling their performance bonus award because they moved their school to a School Performance Grade of C under 2017-18 results. If their school had made less progress and remained a D in their school’s grade, their bonus would have been doubled, as occurred for some of their colleagues who led similar improvements.
The North Carolina Association of School Administrators (NCASA) has been working with lawmakers over several months to resolve the bonus issue, which affects approximately 90 principals across the State. Legislators included a provision clarifying the principal bonus language in a technical corrections bill during a special legislative session in December, but this language was removed in the final version of the bill.
Senate Bill 170 (SB 170) filed today by Senators Tillman (R-Randolph), Ballard (R-Watauga), and Horner (R-Nash), would extend the deadline to pay affected principals to May 31, 2019, allowing the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to retroactively pay the bonuses without appropriating new funds. NCASA is also pursuing additional legislation which would resolve this issue moving forward, ensuring high performing principals will not be similarly affected in the future.