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Trump Taps CCSSO Official for Ed. Dept.'s Top Special Education Post

By Alyson Klein — November 15, 2017 1 min read
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President Donald Trump has tapped Johnny Collett, who currently works at the Council of Chief State School Officers, to be the assistant secretary of education for special education and rehabilitative services. That’s the top special education post at the department.

Collett is currently CCSSO’s director of special education outcomes, where he helps states navigate disability policy. Before that, he served as the director of learning services and state director of special education at the Kentucky Department of Education. He’s also served on the board of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

Before working at KDE, Collett was a high school special education teacher. You can read an interview with him on his role at CCSSO here.

CCSSO is psyched about Collett’s appointment.

“Congratulations to Johnny Collett. Johnny recognizes we must set high expectations and provide the necessary supports for each and every child to create a more equitable education system,” said Chris Minnich, the executive director, in a statement. “He has experience at the national, state and local level that will be a strong asset to the U.S. Department of Education.”

Special education has been a tough area for U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team, ever since she appeared to blank on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act during her confirmation hearing. More on this story from Christina Samuels.