Dr. Sara Kangas, assistant professor in Lehigh's Special Education program, is the recipient of a Small Research Grant from the Spencer Foundation. The project is funded ($40,766) for one year and focuses on the barriers English learners with disabilities experience on their journey to reclassification. The title of the funded project is "When English Learners with Disabilities Become Long-Term English Learners."
Kangas examines through multiple studies how state and federal policies and structural issues in schools can be barriers to learning.
In the middle schools and high schools that she visited for her research and studies, applied linguist Sara Kangas noticed a disturbing trend: high percentages of English learners (ELs) with learning disabilities.