Average principal pay nears $100,000, while charter directors earn just over that

Updated Feb. 21 with a note about a data nuance; the salary averages are calculated using both full and part-time salaries. 

As some school superintendents are starting to earn more than $200,000 for the first time in Idaho history, the statewide average principal pay is approaching $100,000. 

To see the chain of command at traditional public schools, check out our graphic on governance.

The exact average statewide salary for principals and assistant principals at traditional schools is $96,674 — but that average ranges from a low of about $65,000 in Leadore’s tiny and rural South Lemhi School District to a high of about $128,000 in Blaine County School District, located in the affluent resort town of Hailey.  

And it’s about a 5% increase from last year’s average principal pay of $92,392.

Charter directors, who essentially act as both principals and superintendents, make an average of $101,378 statewide. That average ranges from about $24,000 at Jerome’s Heritage Academy to about $198,000 at Rathdrum’s North Idaho STEM Academy. 

The average statewide teacher salary, at $61,516, is higher than it’s even been, and about $30,000 to $40,000 less than their immediate supervisors. 

On the other end of the spectrum, superintendents are earning an average of $115,593  this school year.

Position type Average salary, 2023-24 school year
Superintendent (traditional school district) $115,593
Charter director $101,378
Principal (traditional school district) $96,674
Teacher $61,516

For a look at districts and charters where principals and directors are paid the most and least, on average, check out the charts below. 

Note: The average salary data, obtained from the Idaho Department of Education, includes part-time salaries. For example, a charter school leader might be considered a half-time superintendent, and a half-time school director. Or, an individual might be a half-time teacher and a half-time administrator. That could account for some of the lower salary averages. 

Traditional districts with the highest average principal pay

Traditional school district Average principal pay
Blaine County $127,699
Hagerman $116,180
Boise $114,826
Lapwai $113,455
McCall-Donnelly $111,222
Homedale $108,518
West Ada $108,388
Lewiston $107,957
Bonneville $107,756
Genesee $106,703

 Traditional districts with the lowest average principal pay

Traditional school district Average principal pay
Ririe $74,865
Nezperce $74,000
Council $73,580
Meadows Valley $72,866
Clark County $72,000
Garden Valley $71,556
Dietrich $69,796
Bruneau-Grand View $67,832
Grace $66,223
South Lemhi $65,180

Charters with the highest average director pay

Charter School Average charter administrator salary
North Idaho STEM Charter Academy (Rathdrum) $197,600
Isucceed Virtual High (Boise) $143,325
Vision Charter (Caldwell) $133,819
Meridian Technical Charter High (Meridian) $130,341
Kootenai Bridge Academy (Post Falls)  $128,658
Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy (Coeur d’Alene) $126,181
Alturas Preparatory Academy (Idaho Falls) $124,000
North Star Charter (Eagle)  $123,600
Xavier Charter (Twin Falls) $122,584
Payette River Technical Academy (Emmett) $122,462

Charters with the lowest average director pay

Charter School Average charter administrator salary
The Village Charter (Boise) $71,042
Syringa Mountain (Hailey) $65,490
Cardinal Academy (Boise) $62,025
Legacy Public Charter (Nampa) $60,000
Upper Carmen Public Charter (Carmen) $59,596
Inspire Academics (Boise) $55,125
Project Impact STEM Academy (Meridian) $53,000
Liberty Charter (Nampa) $47,500
Fern-Waters Public Charter (Salmon) $35,000
Heritage Academy $23,575

For the full dataset of average principal pay at traditional districts, go here. For the full dataset of average director pay at charters, go here

Idaho Education News data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this report. 

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro reports from her hometown of Pocatello. Prior to joining EdNews, she taught English at Century High and was a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She has won state and regional journalism awards, and her work has appeared in newspapers throughout the West. Flandro has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and Spanish from the University of Montana, and a master’s degree in English from Idaho State University. You can email her at [email protected] or call or text her at (208) 317-4287.

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