Sections 10, 11 and 12 of Regulation 464/97 outline the main responsibilities of SEAC. Under the regulation SEAC:
“may make recommendations to the board in respect of any matter affecting the establishment, development and delivery of special education programs and services for exceptional pupils of the board” (Section 11 (1))”
and the board shall ensure that:
“its special education advisory committee is provided with the opportunity to participate in the board’s annual review, under Regulation 306 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990, of its special education plan.” (Section 12 (1))”
“its special education advisory committee is provided with the opportunity to participate in the board’s annual budget process under section 231 of the Act, as that process relates to special education.” (Section 12 (2))”
“its special education advisory committee is provided with the opportunity to review the financial statements of the board, prepared under section 252 of the Act, as those statements relate to special education.” (Section 12 (3))”
In addition, SEAC has the right to be heard, as the Regulation says:
“Before making a decision on a recommendation of the committee, the board shall provide an opportunity for the committee to be heard before the board and before any other committee of the board to which the recommendation is referred.” (section 11(2))”
In plain language this means that SEAC should be given the opportunity to provide advice about:
- Special Education Programs and Services;
- Special Education Plan or Report;
- Special Education Budget and Financial Statements; and
- Any matter affecting special education.
SEAC has the right to make presentations to the Board in support of any recommendations they make to it. SEAC should also have opportunities to comment on policies or programs that will impact students with special education needs, and make presentations to any related committees.
Effective Practices to ensure that SEAC has the opportunity to be heard by the Trustees include:
- Providing copies of the SEAC monthly meeting Minutes to all Trustees.
- Providing Trustees with a short written report highlighting the key events of each SEAC meeting at the next meeting of Trustees.
- Allowing the chair of SEAC, or a Trustee member or a SEAC representative, to provide a short verbal report on each SEAC meeting during Trustee meetings.
- Requesting the opportunity for a delegation from SEAC to make a presentation to the Trustees on important topics, such as:
- Special Education budget
- Special Education Report
- Special Education Program reviews
- Policies that may affect special education
- Inviting the Trustees to attend SEAC meetings when discussion of the special education budget or Special Education Report is being considered.
- Creating a SEAC Annual Report that highlights activities and recommendations from the past year.
- Increasing the public awareness of SEAC through a SEAC brochure, presentations and website materials.