Compromise Budget Invests in Student Support Staff by Mostly Lifting Support Cap
Every student deserves a safe and healthy school environment where they are supported academically, socially, and emotionally. While teachers have the greatest impact on student outcomes, many students come to school with barriers to learning and need support beyond what even the greatest teacher can provide. Support staff play a critical role in addressing the barriers that students face so that they can focus on and engage in learning. In response to the Great Recession, policymakers imposed an arbitrary limit on how many support staff the state would help fund, cutting hundreds of millions in state funding each year for school support staff, which includes positions like social workers, custodians, and food service staff. Since the cap was imposed in 2009, support staff decreased by 3,630 positions across the state, while enrollment increased by more than 16,000 students.
One of the biggest wins during 2023 is that lawmakers mostly lifted the arbitrary cap on state funding for support staff. This means the state will be paying its share of the costs for 3,670 additional support staff for the 2023-2024 school year.
Below is the breakdown for each school division:
Additional State-Funded Support Staff
Increase in state-funded support positions in 2023-2024 school year