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Duval School Board Considering Principal Pay Increase For Larger, 'More Challenging' Schools

Lindsey Kilbride
Students at Wolfson High School change classes.

Duval County principals might soon get paid more for leading schools with a larger enrollment, as well as students performing below grade level.

That’s in the new pay scale the school board is considering.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said few job applications come in for open principal positions at large or low-performing schools. So, he wants to pay them more. “Which then creates a greater incentive for our strongest principals to go to those schools,” he said.

Vitti said it moves the district away from using experience as the main indicator for increasing pay, “and it moves us closer to a salary schedule that recognizes performance,” Vitti said.

For example, under this plan, if a principal is leading a school with 40 percent of students performing below grade level, they’d receive $7,000 on top of base pay.

Vitti added principals are incentivized to improve student performance by awarding pay increases based on factors including reading and math scores, and enrollment numbers. 

Once a school improves enough, if the current principal leaves and a new principal begins, they'd start at a lower pay tier.

Experience, however, still counts for something: If someone has been a principal for 16 years or longer, they’d get $5,000 extra.

The board should vote on the plan next month. 

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.