Under new legislation introduced yesterday in the Senate, economically distressed counties would receive additional money for school construction and to pay for raises for school administrators. The legislation – introduced by Senators Jerry Tillman (R-Moore) Harry Brown (R-Onslow) and Ralph Hise (R -Madison) also gives local superintendents more flexibility in paying superintendents. Currently, pay for principals and assistant principals is tied largely to years of experience – not job performance.
Money for the changes is to come from revenue generated by the NC Education Lottery. The legislation also raises the limit on advertising costs from 1 percent of total annual revenue to two percent. The bill requires $75 million in lottery funding to be used for the Needs Based Public School Capital Fund. In addition, another $17.8 million is lottery funding will be used to provide raises and serve as one-time bonuses.
The bill is far from perfect. Lottery revenue is an unstable and undesirable funding source. But the bill is also an important first step in improving how we pay principals and assistant principals. It deserves a close look by all legislators.