The development of the annual budget and review of financial statements is an on-going process and SEAC should be kept informed about the process and have an opportunity to participate and provide advice to the Trustees. Special education funding is complex and SEAC members need to understand how school boards are funded for all students, as well as the components of the Special Education Grant, intended to cover the incremental costs of special education programs and services.
Each year the Ministry of Education releases information on the school board funding, including special education grants and related guidelines. This information can be found on the Ministry website at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/funding.html
There are currently 6 components to the Special Education Grant and SEAC members need to be familiar with all of them. The components are:
- Special Education Per Pupil Amount (SEPPA)
- Differentiated Special Education Needs Amount (DSENA)
- Special Equipment Amount (SEA)
- Special Incidence Portion (SIP)
- Behaviour Expertise Amount (BEA)
- Facilities Amount (FA)
In addition, Measures of Variability (MOV) and the Special Education Statistical Prediction Model (SESPM) are parts of the DESNA. PAAC on SEAC recommends that orientation and on-going training for SEAC members includes information on special education funding.
Under Regulation 464/97, SEAC members are to have the opportunity to participate in the special education budget planning process. Each school board has a different process for the development of budgets, often including the establishment of a budget committee or ad hoc group. PAAC on SEAC recommends that SEAC members be kept informed of the budget process and timelines.