North Carolina School Principals Could Face Pay Cuts

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Some North Carolina principals are worried they could lose pay in the upcoming school year instead of the raises they’re supposed to be receiving in the new state budget.

State lawmakers approved a budget in July that includes a 4% raise in the salary schedule for principals but also changes how school test scores will be used to determine pay. Instead of using multiple years of test data, this year’s budget bases principal compensation on just the 2021-22 school year, when schools were still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The News & Observer reports that principals across the state are talking about how the change could lead to them seeing pay cuts. According to state figures, the average base salary for a principal is $82,160.

“It would be a shame to reduce any school leader’s pay by $9,000 or potentially $18,000 based entirely on the performance of a singular, exceptional year,” Patrick Greene, the 2022 North Carolina Principal of the Year, wrote in a letter sent Thursday to lawmakers. “I am asking, on behalf of school principals, that the leaders of our General Assembly consider a Hold Harmless provision to school leaders.”

Lauren Horsch, a spokeswoman for Senate leader Phil Berger, said Friday there are no plans for the General Assembly to approve a hold harmless provision.

Since 2017, the state has paid principals based on how many students are at their school and whether their school’s test scores met or exceeded growth expectations.