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Head of Federal English-Language Acquisition Office Steps Down

Rosalinda B. Barrera, the director of the office of English-language acquisition for the U.S. Department of Education for the last two years, has resigned her position, a department spokesman has confirmed.

Barrera's last day was Oct. 19. There was no official explanation from the department on why she stepped down.

Barrera, the former dean of the college of education at Texas State University-San Marcos, was selected to helm the office after a two-year stretch when there was no permanent leadership. She also took the job after the OELA had lost its oversight and authority over funds from Title III, the provision of the No Child Left Behind Act that authorizes spending for English-language acquisition programs. Since 2008, that authority has resided with the elementary and secondary education office in the department.

During her two years, she hosted a number of "national conversations" in a half dozen cities around the country where English-language learners constitute a significant proportion of public school enrollment.

Joanne Urrutia, the former head of language acquisition and bilingual programs in the Miami-Dade public schools, has been serving as OELA's deputy director, but no word yet as to whether she, or some other appointee, will succeed Barrera.

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