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Principal Pay Calculator

Principal Donnell Cannon, right, sits with a student at lunch at North Edgecombe High School. (Photo Credit: Liz Bell/EducationNC)

During the 2017 long session of the General Assembly, lawmakers passed a budget that revamped the principal pay schedule. The new schedule includes $25 million in new funding for salary increases for most of the state’s principals and also changes how principals are paid.

Previously, principals were paid by the state based on years of experience, their educational attainment, and the number of teachers supervised.

Under the new schedule, principals are paid based on student enrollment and whether the school(s) they have lead for the last three years did not meet, met, or exceeded academic growth.

The change caused confusion among administrators, particularly since many administrators receive both local and state funding for their total compensation. BEST NC, in partnership with EducationNC, created the principal pay calculator below for principals to calculate their salaries under the new pay schedule.

This calculator is for demonstration purposes. Any questions or concerns should be brought to a district HR department.


If you have questions or comments or feedback about the calculator, please email

Lindsay Carbonell

Lindsay Carbonell is a web developer and reporter. She attended West Cary Middle School and Panther Creek High School. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill where she studied interactive multimedia at the School of Media and Journalism. She is passionate about compelling stories, clean design, and cleaner code. In her free time she writes memoirs, collects stickers, and watches Steven Universe.

Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.