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North Carolina Principals May Get Salary Boost, Bonus Under New Proposal

A North Carolina proposal could boost the base salary for the state's principals by 3 percent, and offer new financial incentives to school leaders who work in low-performing schools or high-poverty districts.

A legislative study committee on principals and assistant principals pay approved the recommendations on Thursday, according to the News & Observer. The proposals will now go to the legislature, and will need approval by both the House and Senate before they can take effect.

North Carolina principals are among the lowest paid nationally, and salaries can vary from district to district depending on whether local districts have additional funds to offer incentives and bonuses to principals, the newspaper said. The average annual principal salary in the state is $64,209, the paper reported.

The executive director of the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association, Shirley Prince, told the News & Observer that the committee's salary increase proposal was "just a start." 

The proposals aim to help districts hang on to talented principals and keep high-performing school leaders in schools where they'll likely have the most impact.

State Sen. Jerry Tillman said the funds could be awarded to districts in the form of block grants. The districts would have some discretion in how to use them, but there will be guidelines. Districts and schools could use the money to award signing bonuses or performance incentives to school leaders, the paper said.

No cost estimate was provided, the newspaper reported.

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