School & District Management

Principals’ Salaries Rising, But Slowly, Survey Finds

By Bess Keller — March 10, 1999 2 min read

High school principals continue to make only slow gains in salary, according to a new survey, despite shortages in many districts and growing evidence that principals are among the hardest educators to replace.

The study from the National Association of Secondary School Principals found that high school principals got an average raise of 3.2 percent this school year. They make an average salary of $76,769, though pay varies considerably by region and size of school.

The survey of 880 districts was commissioned by the principals’ group and was conducted by the Educational Research Service of Arlington, Va.

This year’s salary gain for high school principals was about average for the decade, according to the report released here at the NASSP’s annual convention Feb. 26-March 2.

“If we consider the long days and weekends a principal works, add the pressure of managing a school building and staff, plus the responsibilities they have to students, parents, school boards and communities, the pay they receive is, in many cases, not enough,” argued Thomas F. Koerner, who retired this month after 27 years at the NASSP, including the last year as its executive director.

The Reston, Va.-based organization releases the survey each year at its convention.

Looming Shortage

Merely average pay raises also may not be enough to stem a looming principal shortage that many contend will be especially acute in high schools. (“Demand for Principals Growing, but Candidates Aren’t Applying,” March 3, 1999.)

A survey last year suggested that the most important factor discouraging candidates was too little money for the responsibilities of the principal’s job.

The survey was commissioned by the NASSP and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. (“Principals’ Shoes Are Hard To Fill, Study Finds,” March 18, 1998.)

As in recent years, principals and assistant principals at all levels of schooling earn the lowest salaries in the Southeast and the highest in the far West. Salaries in New England and the Middle Atlantic states also rank high.

Principals in the earlier grades fared better than their high school counterparts, registering average raises of 4.01 percent for middle school principals and 4.17 percent for elementary principals.

Principals of middle schools and junior high schools earn an average of $71,499; elementary school principals average $67,348.

Assistant principals saw increases of between 2 and 2.8 percent, depending on grade levels.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 10, 1999 edition of Education Week as Principals’ Salaries Rising, But Slowly, Survey Finds

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Building Equitable Systems: Moving Math From Gatekeeper to Opportunity Gateway
The importance of disrupting traditional American math practices and adopting high-quality math curriculum continues to be essential for changing the trajectory of historically under-resourced schools. Building systems around high-quality math curriculum also is necessary to
Content provided by Partnership for L.A. Schools
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Making Digital Literacy a Priority: An Administrator’s Perspective
Join us as we delve into the efforts of our panelists and their initiatives to make digital skills a “must have” for their district. We’ll discuss with district leadership how they have kept digital literacy
Content provided by Learning.com

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Opinion Pandemic Recovery Will Be Complex. We’ll Need the Best School Leaders
To face the education challenges of today and tomorrow, we must invest in the principal pipeline, writes Michael J. Petrilli.
Michael J. Petrilli
4 min read
Leader pointing hand forward, directing boat forward through corona virus crisis
iStock / Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Opinion The Year of Scourges: How I Survived Illness and Racism to Find My 'Tribe'
A Black school leader reflects on the hardest year of her professional life.
Reba Y. Hodge
4 min read
new growth on a bare tree
Vanessa Solis/Education Week & Getty Images
School & District Management From Our Research Center How the Pandemic Is Shaping K-12 Education (in Charts)
Surveys by the EdWeek Research Center show how schools have changed during the pandemic and what adjustments are likely to stick.
Eric DiVito gives breathing instructions as he teaches a remote music class at the Osborn School on Oct. 6, 2020, in Rye, N.Y.
Eric DiVito gives breathing instructions as he teaches a remote music class at the Osborn School in Rye, N.Y., last fall.
Mary Altaffer/AP
School & District Management Opinion Ed. Leaders: Discuss Race, Call Out White Supremacy
Downplaying the realities of racism leads to misunderstanding school problems and developing inadequate solutions.
John B. Diamond & Jennifer Cheatham
5 min read
Hand writing the word racism on blackboard. Stop hate. Against prejudice and violence. Lecture about discrimination in school.
Tero Vesalainen/iStock/Getty