Development of a formula for funding special education in reserve schools in Saskatchewan
Favel, Gwendolyn Mae
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This study was designed to investigate concerns with respect to the delivery of special education services in reserve schools, to identify the special needs of children attending these schools, and to study means of identifying and assessing children with special needs. The information obtained was used to develop a special education funding formula which would be more sensitive and responsive to the specific needs of Indian students in schools on reserves in Saskatchewan. The study which was an exploratory field study involved two or more days of intensive discussion between the researcher and various groups of people on each of six reserves. At the conclusion of the study, a committee comprised of representatives of each band met with the researcher to review the findings and to make recommendations. The study addressed three main areas of concern-the identification and assessment of special education students, the special needs of students in reserve schools, and funding arrangements. Results indicated that current procedures for identifying and assessing special education students are vague, costly, and time-consuming. As well, bands do not have easy access to the qualified personnel to do the identification and/or testing. It was also discovered that large numbers of students in reserve schools are handicapped because they are severely disadvantaged, seriously age-grade misplaced, and/or severely emotionally deprived. These categories of handicap, although not recognized by the the special education funding formulas, do interfere with the academic achievement and success of the students. Bands are experiencing problems with the current funding arrangements. Inadequacy of funds to cover the costs of delivering appropriate programming, lack of firm policies and procedures for accessing and allocating funds or to direct the process of delivering funds to the band level, and ineffective systems at the band level for administering special education funds are the chief problems. It was recommended that the funding formula should consist of three components--a low cost component to offset the costs of programming for the mildly to moderately handicapped; a special needs component to cover the costs of programming required beyond what is provided through the low cost component; a support services component to cover the costs of education psychologists, classroom consultants, speech therapists, and other consultant services. As well, it was stressed that for such a formula to be truly functional, well-defined policies and procedures would have to be developed and implemented.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
Special education programs -- Saskatchewan
Native communities -- Educational requirements
Assessing special needs
Funding special education
Special needs -- Reserve schools
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