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Understanding Differences in School Leader Compensation

Nathan Barrett

Date & Time
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
12:00–1:00 pm
1555 Poydras Street, Suite 700

Authors: Jane Arnold Lincove, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Nathan Barrett, Education Research Alliance for New Orleans; Katharine O. Strunk, University of Southern California

Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools have autonomy over hiring and compensating school leaders. This provides charter schools with the opportunity to use compensation to attract better-qualified individuals to leadership positions in public education and to provide financial incentives for school leaders to achieve certain goals.

This study uses state personnel data to examine associations between principal, student, and school characteristics and principal pay. We examine what principal qualifications are valued and rewarded by charter schools, as well as whether principals receive increases in pay when schools achieve specific goals. We also examine the role of job complexity in principal pay — including measures of student demographics, school organization, and administrative support — to determine if pay is higher when principals take on more challenging assignments.

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