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February 3, 2012

City principal pay below average

Today, I wrote a story about principal pay in the city, which I was surprised to find was below the average for the state, and that of the other large, surrounding districts. The story accompanied a database The Sun has published of all school system employees, which we've also done for every state, city, and Baltimore County school system employees.

The jist of the story is that in the last four years, principals' pay have not caught up to their ever-expanding responsibilities in the city school system. While the story didn't appear to get nearly as much attention as the database, principals have written in that they are surprised by the disparity.

But school system and union leaders have acknowledged that principals--who under immense pressure in the city--are underpaid, and point to the new administrators union contract as a remedy to reward and retain the best leaders, who arguably have one of the hardest jobs in the state.

Posted by Erica Green at 10:04 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Baltimore City


I recall a story a while back that since the current CEO arrived there has been a large turnover rate for principals in BCPSS. Few current principal are the 30 year veterans and more are NLNS type grads who have not been employed long enough to reach the upper end of the pay scale.

Now is there a story behind that?

I know a former colleague who is now a principal in Baltimore City. He spent two years in the classroom, was a horrible teacher and quite frankly – was completely unprofessional. He somehow landed a job as a principal in the city school system after earning his government funded PhD. He makes over 100K and has been working in education for five years. According to teachers in his school, he has no idea how to run a school. This is further evidence that the city school system is a mess. They have plenty of cash to go around but have no idea manage schools, principals or teachers. Our tax dollars at work!

Below state average is still (in many cases) double my salary as a seven year city teacher. A principal's job is hard and amounts to a lot of work, that is true, but how many administrators have I worked with that are the last to arrive and the first to leave work?


That's not a totally equal comparison, comparing the average salary of a principal to your salary as a seventh-year teacher. First, and most obviously, principals' pay is based on a 12-month job while a teacher's annual salary is based on a 10-month job, so without considering the second point, it's more like 1.67x your salary instead of 2x. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the average principal has more than 7 years of experience in education. In fact, I'd guess that at least 99% of principals in Baltimore City are in at least their 7th year in education. If you want to compare people's salaries when they have different jobs, you should compare people with equivalent education and experience. So let's say that the average principal has 15 years experience, a masters degree plus at least one extra certification; you should compare the average principal salary to a teacher with those same qualifications. At this point, with the new BTU contract, anyone with those qualifications would have been grandfathered into the model teacher track (assuming satisfactory evaluations) and would be making what, $85k/10 months? That's a fairer comparison. And please note that I think that's a totally fair compensation for a great veteran teacher whom we're trying to keep working in the district.

Now, Brandon, if you want to make the argument that principals in the city are OVERpaid, please, go right ahead, I'd be interested to hear that. And if you want to complain about your PARTICULAR administrator, please, be my guest, put it out there. Otherwise, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at...

Thank you for visiting Augusta Fells savage Febuary 9,2012. We really appreciate all the advice that was given.

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