At the July board meeting I voted to approve Cliff Beaver as the new principal at Pocopson Elementary. And as with all appointments, the board also approves a salary, which is set and recommended by the administration.
For all compensation matters that come before the board, I always want to understand how a proposed pay package compares to the market for similar positions in Chester County as well as Pennsylvania overall. If we are going to attract, retain, and reward great principals (and teachers, support staff, and other administrators) , our compensation needs to be competitive.
So how does pay for our elementary school principals compare? Here is what I found, using the public database of school salaries.
Average Salary, by School District
There are 1,706 elementary school principals in Pennsylvania, earning an average annual salary of $101,937. Looking district by district, the middle 50% of districts pay their principals between $82,000 and $101,000. Philadelphia has 147 elementary principals (9% of the total principals in the state), paying an average of $132,122. This ranks Philadelphia as the 13th highest in the state.
UCFSD pays our elementary school principals an average of $127,900, which places us 25th in the state (95th percentile).
In Chester County, pay tends to be at the higher end of the state pay scale. There are 52 elementary principals in Chester County, earning an average of $123,458. Tredyffrin-Easttown has the highest average pay, at $146,000. This is 9% higher than the next closest district in the county (Great Valley). T/E is also the highest paying district in Pennsylvania.
UCFSD is ranked 5th in the county, but there is not a material difference between the 4th-6th places. So UCFSD is firmly in the 2nd quartile in Chester County.
Looking at individual principal salaries in Chester County, the story is similar. Like with teaching positions, principal salaries grow over time. But school districts have more discretion in setting individual principal salaries since there is not a collective bargaining agreement that sets a mandatory salary schedule.
- UCF principal salaries place our district in the top 5% of all districts in Pennsylvania.
- Among Chester County districts, UCF salaries are in the 2nd quartile.
My conclusion, based on this market data, is that our principal pay is highly competitive and should allow us to attract and retain excellent leadership for our elementary schools.