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Statement by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Senate Confirmation of Glenna Wright-Gallo

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The Senate has confirmed Glenna Wright-Gallo as assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services at the U.S. Department of Education. Secretary Cardona issued the following statement:

“I am thrilled that Glenna Wright-Gallo, a lifelong educator and accomplished special education leader, has been successfully confirmed as the Department of Education’s new assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services. 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. 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.”

About Glenna Wright-Gallo

Glenna Wright-Gallo has served as the assistant superintendent of special education in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington since 2017. Prior to that, she spent seven years as the state director of special education for the Utah State Board of Education, following work as a classroom teacher and administrator. She has over 25 years of public education experience supporting students with disabilities and adults entering and within the teaching profession, and 16 years of experience in state-level education leadership with expertise in the improvement planning, data analysis, and monitoring of public P-12+ special education programs. Glenna has bachelor of science and master of science degrees in special education; special education teacher and administrative licenses; endorsements as a program administrator, principal, and superintendent; and a master of business administration.

During her work in Washington, state special education programs were allocated an additional $155 million, $37 million for improvement of statewide inclusionary practices, $12 million for paraeducator training, and $60,000 to reduce the use of restraint and isolation. During her tenure, the historic state special education funding allocation formula was revised to a two-tier system that now supports inclusionary practices, and the state’s high-needs risk pool process also was revised to reduce administrative burden on school districts. Collaboration is a priority for her work, and collaborative efforts were infused within all state efforts regarding students with disabilities. Glenna feels strongly that application of the intent of IDEA requirements results in increased student outcomes for students with disabilities. She works with school and district administrators; special education staff; advocates; and parents and families of students with disabilities at the local, state, and national levels to review research, current student achievement data, stakeholder feedback, and compliance data to ensure state and local efforts are addressing instructional issues that impact results for students with disabilities.


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