State Superintendent Catherine Truitt plans to provide $4.5 million from federal COVID relief funds to address a principal pay issue contained in the 2022 state budget, according to a statement released by the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) on Wednesday. The announcement was welcomed by NCASA, NCPAPA, and other education groups that had sounded the alarm for weeks on the provision, which would base a significant portion of principal pay on just one year of school performance data (2021-2022), rather than the best two out of three years, beginning on January 1, 2023.
While this change in pay calculation positively impacted many principals, an estimated 360 principals with histories of higher school performance would see their pay cut by as much as $18,000 in the new year. In response, Supt. Truitt announced NCDPI plans to cover these expected losses for principals with discretionary funds from the federal Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) II fund, a portion of which can be used to retain high-performing principals. The State Board of Education plans to consider the funding proposal during its scheduled monthly meeting on September 1, and NCASA will provide an update on this principal pay fix in next week’s newsletter.