Special Ed Head Reassigned

Then-head of special education Helen Rodriguez sits at her desk in 2013.
Paul Wellman (file)

Helen Rodriguez, who has headed up special education at Santa Barbara Unified School District since 2013, will more narrowly focus on assisting English-learner special-ed students as oversight of the department shifts to Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Frann Wageneck. “I’ve decided to make a change in leadership,” said Superintendent Cary Matsuoka, adding that it’s not uncommon for districts to administer special ed through the greater scope of student services. Santa Barbara Unified has 1,888 special-ed students, 781 ​— ​41 percent ​— ​of whom are English learners.

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