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Dr. Julie Esparza Brown

Dr. Julie Esparza Brown is a professor in the Department of Special Education at Portland State University. She has worked in public schools in special, bilingual, and bilingual special education and as a school psychologist.   Her teaching, research, and publications focus broadly on the intersection of language, dis/ability, race, and culture, and she is a passionate advocate for equity in education. Additionally, she regularly consults and presents nationally on these issues.  Dr. Brown recently completed a four-year term as an elected school board member for the largest school district in Oregon. 


Currently, she is Principal Investigator of a personnel preparation grant through the Office of English Language Acquisition to prepare diverse special educators and to improve literacy outcomes for multilingual students.  Dr. Brown recently completed work as Principal Investigator on a model demonstration grant funded through the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Programs that investigated culturally and linguistically responsive literacy interventions within an MTSS framework for English learner students at-risk for or with disabilities ( She has also been Principal Investigator on four federal personnel preparation grants. Her current co-authored book, Supporting English Learners in the Classroom: Distinguishing Language Acquisition from Learning Disabilities (Haas & Brown, 2019) is available through Teachers College Press.  


Podcast Interviews: 

Season 3 Episode 29: PaTTAN – Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network - “Distinguishing Language Acquisition from Learning Disabilities"

Episode 26: Teaching MLs with Tan Huynh - "When are special education referrals necessary for language learners?"

Books & Chapters:

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