Maureen O’Leary Burness, MS
Senior Consultant, Special Education

Maureen Burness joined Total Schools Solutions (TSS) as a well-known special education leader with experience in conducting special education studies for county offices of education, Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPA), and school districts in the areas of: program improvement; revenue maximization/cost reduction; staffing ratios/roles; and, SELPA governance and reorganization.

Maureen O’Leary Burness has served in special education administrative capacities since 1986.  She has developed new Local Plans for multiple SELPAs, including creating a new SELPA in her last employment venture with Folsom Cordova Unified School District.  She has served as Assistant Superintendent for Folsom Cordova USD SELPA, Placer County SELPA, Placer/Nevada Counties SELPA, and Yolo County SELPA, providing the range of responsibilities necessary to administer both multiple and single district SELPAs. 

Mrs. Burness has administered multiple grants, including teaching Alternative Dispute Resolution practices, forming a partnership with the UC Davis Medical Investigation of Neurological Disorders (MIND) Institute in using Evidence-Based Practices for teaching students with autism, and leading a Bilingual Model Site for Special Education Services for English Language Learners.

Mrs. Burness was appointed to the Senate Select Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism, and has developed expertise in the area of service delivery for students along the Autism Spectrum, developing new programs for students at significant cost-savings to Districts over Non-public schools and agencies.

Mrs. Burness has been a frequent invited speaker for state and national conferences on special education issues.  She has twice been the President of the ACSA Special Education and Student Services Council.  She has led ACSA’s Special Education Academy since 1996 and been the Chair or member of the annual ACSA Special Education and Student Services Symposium for 20 years.

Mrs. Burness has served in all Officer roles of the State SELPA Administrator Organization, and has been Co-Chair of the Legislative, Best Practices, Finance, and RtI Committees.  She has been the Legislative Liaison from California to the Council for Exceptional Children, and was recently elected to be the Northern California Representative to the CEC Assembly.

Mrs. Burness has been Adjunct faculty at Sacramento State University in the School Psychology and Educational Administration Departments.

Mrs. Burness enjoys a statewide reputation for always seeking to do the right thing for children and students.