NCASA Presents To Lawmakers On Principal Role

The NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA) shared suggestions on how the state could better support our school principals on Monday during a presentation to the House Select Committee on An Education System for North Carolina’s Future. During a presentation on the role of principals, NCASA Executive Director Katherine Joyce shared with lawmakers feedback she received from one of NCASA’s core affiliates, the NC Principals and Assistant Principals Association (NCPAPA), and the principals they represent across the state, regarding needed legislative changes, such as revisions to the principal pay plan.

Specifically, Mrs. Joyce noted the need to revamp the principal pay plan “so that it’s better aligned with the schedules of teachers and assistant principals for a true career progression; Experience is valued; and the performance component that is now causing wild swings in the base salary of some of our principals — that would be more dedicated to bonuses and rewards, and not something that could ultimately undercut the base earning capacity of a principal in a given year.” She continued, “We’ve seen a recent issue with that, that many of you may be hearing about,” referencing the 2022 budget provision that would base 2023 principal salaries in part on 2021-2022 school performance scores.

Following the presentation, Rep. Phil Shepard (R-Onslow) noted his shared concerns with the recent principal pay issue, stating, “I’ve received many emails from some of the best principals in Onslow County who are concerned with the changes set to take place this year to the principal pay.” Mrs. Joyce advocated for legislation that would hold principal salaries harmless from decreases, while allowing principals who would earn more under the new provision to retain that benefit. She noted lawmakers would need to address the issue before December 31, and both Reps. Shepard and Blackwell (R-Burke) noted their willingness to address the issue before the new year.  

In addition to the principal pay scale, lawmakers also discussed school administrator turnover and the need for more stability in school leadership positions. Committee Chair Rep. Torbett (R-Gaston) ended this portion of the committee meeting, remarking, “I’ve learned my first error [is] that I don’t get up here and say we don’t need principals… we need to look at their duties and responsibilities and make it easier for them to help educate their children from day to day.”

To access NCASA’s presentation and other materials from Monday’s committee meeting, click here.

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