A tentative 3-year contract between Seattle Public Schools and its principals association raises the salary for middle and elementary school principals, but leaves other principals out in the cold.

The contract, reached late last night, ties student performance to the principals' salaries and job evaluations. As long as SPS and PASS are able to come to an agreement about what kind of evaluation tool will be used by April 1, all principals will be entitled to a 1 percent raise. Additionally, as of Jan. 1, 2011, elementary school principals and middle school principals will get a 1.5 and 1 percent raise respectively because SPS determined that this was the correct market adjustment for those two positions to bring them at par with other districts. The current salary range for SPS principals is between $100,750 to $127,427 annually.

"High school principals, assistant principals, and certificated program managers who manage home schooling and curriculum development are concerned that there were no market adjustments for them." said Patricia Hunter, president of the Principals Association of Seattle Schools (PASS). "The SPS bargaining team decided that only the salaries of K-8 and elementary principals were not competitive with other districts in the region. They did not think that was the case with the other principals."

More on the contract after the jump

The total cost of the new principals contract will be $1.2 million over three years. SPS hopes that the raises will compensate for the additional work principals need to do to implement the new teacher evaluation system. Principals will also be receiving bonuses for improvements in student performances as well financial incentives for taking on assignments at low performing schools.

Hunter said that except for a few members, the majority of the roughly 180-member principals association had voted in favor of the contract. Last September, the district came to a similar agreement with the Seattle teachers union, whereby teacher evaluations would be connected to student performance.

"We are trying out something new here," Hunter said of the principal evaluation system, which is scheduled to begin in the 2011-2012 school year. "We are opening a new chapter of the book, but we don't know what's going to lie at the end."

The Seattle School Board will vote on the contract Feb. 2.