Only West Virginia Pays School Administrators Less Than North Carolina

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In a recent article documenting issues with the current school administrator pay scale in North Carolina, EdNC highlights that North Carolina ranks second to last in the country for school administrator pay. This is just the most recent in a series of rankings that have placed North Carolina at or near the bottom in almost every education category. From the EdNC article,

The problem has been exacerbated by pay freezes which began in 2009 in the wake of the economic recession and continued through 2013, with the exception of a one-time salary increase of 1.2 percent in 2012.

“With the salary freezes, the groupings have gotten larger,” said Andrew Cox, section chief of school reporting at the state Department of Public Instruction.

That’s in a state whose average yearly salary ($67,850) for administrators — including assistant principals, principals and other positions with similar job duties, but excluding superintendents — is second to last in the nation, beating only West Virginia.

To avoid increasing the salaries of principals in the first range of pay, the range was increased by one year for each year of the pay freeze by the General Assembly, according to Cox. So, if the first range was 0-22 years for principals with the most responsibility one year, then the next year it became 0-23 years during the pay freeze. That’s in a state whose average yearly salary ($67,850) for administrators — including assistant principals, principals and other positions with similar job duties, but excluding superintendents — is second to last in the nation, beating only West Virginia, according to data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Cox points out, however, that the General Assembly tends to give across-the-board increases regularly. In fact, looking back to the 1993-94 school year, no more than three years have passed in a row without a pay increase, but these are mostly cost-of-living increases rather than raises, Cox said. The longest period of stagnation was during the recent salary freeze.

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