Principal Bonus Structure Discussed at BOE

Principal Bonus Structure Discussed at BOE
Posted on 05/10/2016
logoHickory Daily Record, May 10, 2016
by John Bailey, reporter

HICKORY – Hickory Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Robbie Adell raised the idea of establishing a more structured system of principal bonuses during Monday's school board work session.

His plan would give all HPS principals the same opportunity to earn up to $2,500 as bonus pay.         

"Back in the fall, we had some language in the contracts of some principals that identified the extra pay that they were getting in bonuses," Adell said. "But it didn't identify how those particular bonuses would be looked at and how you capsulate a particular bonus. In fact, the language itself really wasn't specific enough for the board to award bonuses."

The superintendent also pointed out that some principals had bonuses in their contracts set at $2,100, while others had bonuses of potentially $2,500 and others were not receiving a bonus at all based on their contract.

"Now we had some that were under the assumption or belief that the bonus was a given, and it was a part of the negotiated contractual agreement that they had with the previous administration," Adell said. "I'm trying to clean all that up so that everybody is on the same page."

The superintendent's model will be based on student growth at 60 percent. Only 30 percent will be based on performance, Adell told the school board. Principals could earn at least 60 percent of their bonus if they exceed expected growth or 50 percent if they meet expected growth.

"They would receive no money, no part of that 60 percent if they failed to meet expected growth," Adell said. "In addition, 10 percent of the bonus would be based on the fact that they're not classified as a low-performing school in the state of North Carolina."

Board member Bryan Graham liked the idea in general but just wanted to make sure the maximum bonus was still achievable for principals.

"If we set the goal, I'd like to see them have the opportunity to get it all," Graham said. "It's nice for people to know what exactly their goals are. You go to the end and you know if you achieved it or not."

Adell agreed with the board member, adding that's why he wanted to base the bonus off student growth at 60 percent, and at the same time is looking for input from the board before any final decisions are made.

"This is an effort to try to, one reward principals for doing a good job in leading their buildings, and try to retain these people in their positions," Adell said. "We also want to make sure that it's meaningful. You got to earn it."

The school board also heard proposals for a new school logo and raising school lunches by $0.10 for full paying students. There would be no change for students who pay reduced lunches.

The board will meet again in full session May 23 at 7 p.m. in the Hickory City Chamber Council.

Bailey, reporter