After a year and a half in limbo, the nation has a new top special education official.

The U.S. Senate voted this week to confirm Glenna Wright-Gallo as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services at the Department of Education.

President Joe Biden nominated Wright-Gallo for the post in November 2021, but she could not assume the job before winning Senate approval. In the interim, Deputy Assistant Secretary Katherine Neas has served in the role in an acting capacity.

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Wright-Gallo will join the Education Department after serving as assistant superintendent of special education in the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction since 2017. Before that, she was the state director of special education for the Utah State Board of Education for seven years and she has worked as a classroom teacher and administrator.

As assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, Wright-Gallo will oversee the federal government’s implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other laws.

“Ms. Wright-Gallo has spent decades supporting students with disabilities and their families both in the classroom and as an administrative leader in the Utah and Washington public education systems,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “Her commitment to meeting the needs of the special education community and strong track record of improving outcomes are exactly what we need at this critical moment in our recovery from the pandemic, and I look to working with her to raise the bar for students with disabilities and their families.”

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