Report Title:

Performance contracts; principals


Places principals on four-year performance contracts with reappointment contingent on teacher and parent input as well as school report cards.


H.B. NO.









relating to principals.



SECTION 1. The legislature believes that if Hawaii's schools are to improve, school principals must function as leaders, as well as managers. Due to the critical role a principal plays in school change and reform, which demand leadership, not management skills, a number of mainland cities have now ended the practice of building tenure for school principals. When one of the first cities to remove the practice of building tenure, Chicago, was sued by the principals' union for taking away an alleged property right to building tenure, the Illinois Supreme Court held that a single interest group could not be allowed to stand in the way of urgently needed school reform.

There are a number of reasons for giving up the idea that a principal should remain at a school indefinitely. According to many union advocates, management, including middle management, should not be able to bargain collectively. More to the point with regard to building tenure, as school administrators are taught, leadership is situational, or contingent. A principal may be an excellent leader for one school, but not for another, of for a given school at one time but not another.

The legislature also believes that whether an individual can function as an effective leader depends not only on how the individual is perceived by a superior, but also on the perceptions of the teachers the principal leads, and on the confidence of the parents and children attending the school run by the principal. A principal's success is also obviously evident in other things, such as whether attendance has improved, achievement has risen, graduation rates have increased, and dropout rates have fallen. Whether a principal should remain at a given school should depend upon the principal's success there.

The purpose of this Act is to enact education reform in this area by replacing the current system of tenure for principals with a system where principals will be retained through performance contracts, where reappointment will be contingent upon teacher and parent input as well as indicators of school and student achievement.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new part to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"Part . principals

302A-  Performance contracts; principals. (a) Each local district board shall have the authority to negotiate and enter into a performance-based contract for the purpose of obtaining a principal for a school within the district.

(b) Performance-based contracts for principals shall be for a term of four years.

(c) Each local district board shall be responsible for establishing minimum performance standards for principals within their district and shall incorporate the standards into the performance contract.

(d) Reappointment of a principal shall be determined by a review process established by a local district board. The review process shall include:

(1) Teacher input;

(2) Parent input; and

(3) Student achievement, as measured by school report cards.

302A-  Nonrenewal of contract; termination. If the contract of a principal is not renewed or is terminated, and it appears that the principal would benefit from professional development assistance, the department shall offer professional development assistance through the University of Hawaii, college of education.

302A-  Salary increase. The initial performance contracts offered to principals pursuant to this Act shall include a salary increase equal to either a per cent raise over the highest scaled salary for a public school teacher employed at the school at which the principal is placed or at least a per cent pay raise as a result of the enactment of this section.

302A-  Tenure. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, principals shall retain the tenure they have earned as teachers but not as principals."

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2004.