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Sen. Tillman: Scrap principal salary schedule

Sen. Jerry Tillman
Sen. Jerry Tillman

Republican Sen. Jerry Tillman says he wants to scrap the state principal pay schedule this session. 

In the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education Wednesday, he said he plans to file a bill that would give districts the state allotment for principal pay, and let them use it as they see fit to hire principals.

“You hire your principals based on ability and how they’re going to improve the test scores and the atmosphere and the discipline in the school,” he said in an interview after the meeting. “If you can do those, you pay them a lot. If they can’t do those things, you either get rid of them or you keep them stagnant on the pay scale.” 

Currently, the pay schedule for principals is long and rewards principals mainly for years of experience. Also, principals can go many years without getting raises from the state. EducationNC reported on the many problems with the current system in January. 

Tillman called out Republican Rep. Craig Horn during this morning’s meeting, saying he would need his help. 

“Be thinking about that, Horn. Because it’s coming,” Tillman said. 

Tillman said his legislation — which he says he will likely file next week — has a good chance of passing. He says he is working House members for support already, as well as lawmakers from the Senate. 

Horn said in an interview after the meeting that he will withhold judgement for now. 

“On the surface, I love flexibility in almost every possible way,”  he said. “I’m going to wait and hear from a few more people.” 

Tillman said this could be great for localities, if they’re willing to use it. 

“Good, creative superintendents will love it,” he said. 

Alex Granados

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