Pay-for-performance a reality for Dallas ISD principals


Today, 184 returning principals will receive new salaries that are based on a combination of performance measures and student achievement results. Gone are the salaries based primarily on years of experience. For the first time in Dallas ISD history, a principal’s base salary (the salary without stipends) is reflective of actual effectiveness. The higher the effectiveness, the higher the salary.

The new principal evaluation system has been in place for two years, but the district timed the new compensation structure to begin after two years to ensure the system was fair, accurate and rigorous. “I don’t know of any other large district that has a more rigorous evaluation system,” said Superintendent Mike Miles. “The results show how transformative our system is.”

Under the new compensation structure, a high school principal will receive a base salary of $81,000 at the low end of the scale (Progressing I) and $129,600 at the high end (Exemplary) – a difference of more than $48,000.

On top of the base salary, a principal could earn stipends in three areas: size of the school, experience as a campus leader, and working in an academically underperforming school (known as Tier 1 schools). Because these stipends were applied to all principals for the first time, almost all principals saw a pay raise regardless of effectiveness. However, those who were more effective, and thus received a larger base salary, saw the greatest increase in pay. On average, principals received a $9,164 increase in pay. The average salary for the 2014-2015 school year is $100,300. In the 2013-2014 school year, it was $91,136.

While principals are seeing the impact of their work reflected in their compensation, the stage is now set for 2015 when teachers will see how their appraisal system, the Teacher Excellence Initiative, will affect their own salaries.


Elem $70,000 $76,500 $81,500 $89,000 $95,000 $101,000 $108,500
Middle $75,000 $82,500 $88,000 $95,000 $101,500 $108,000 $116,250
High $81,000 $90,500 $96,500 $104,000 $112,000 $120,000 $129,600

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