VASS Support Cap Position (2019-2020)


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Historical Background and Summary of “Support Cap”


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  • Implemented in FY10 by Governor Kaine as a budget amendment to offset revenue shortfall and reduce the State’s share of funding public education.
  • This budget amendment translated into a reduction in Basic Aid to school divisions due to limiting the number of support positions that are calculated as part of prevailing costs (actual expenditures). Prevailing costs are considered each biennium in determining rebenchmarking obligations by the State.
  • Under this methodology, the new calculation used a ratio of support positions per SOQ positions that resulted in the following:
    • Started at 4.03 and has increased every biennium to the current ratio of 4.3
    • An increased ratio translates to decreased Basic Aid
    • Statewide funding for over 12,900 support positions was eliminated
    • Reduced K-12 funding in 2010-2011 by $376.1 million and by $378.2 million in 2011-2012 (total of over $754 million)
  • Removing the arbitrary cap on support positions, in calculating prevailing costs, would add significant dollars to Basic Aid for all school divisions.
  • School divisions that decided to keep support positions, that were no longer funded, were required to pay for those positions with local dollars. This forced school divisions to make adjustments in other areas of local budgets in order to provide students necessary support services.
  • The following is a list of positions that are counted as “support”.

Assistant Superintendent Technology Professional
Instructional Professional Technology Technical/Clerical
Instructional Technical/Clerical Operation and Maintenance
Attendance and Health Administrative Operation/Maintenance Technical/Clerical
Attendance and Health Technical/Clerical Support Technology
Administration Administrative School-based Clerical
Administration Technical/Clerical  


  • The impact on Basic Aid is clearly shown through comparison of total state Basic Aid in 2008-2009 (prior to the implementation of the support cap) to total state Basic Aid in 2019-2020 (a 4.1% decrease).
  • In addition to removing the support cap methodology, Virginia needs to identify specific support positions (i.e., school nurses, psychologists, social worker, behavior specialists) within the Standards of Quality as a more equitable way of funding social and emotional services for students.

Virginia Association of School Superintendents
P.O. Box 68, Batesville, VA 22924 | (804) 562-4430 | Copyright © 2019