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Sara Doutre

Sara Doutre is a recognized expert in special education policy and finance. Leveraging her federal, state, and classroom experience, Doutre leads accountability and finance work as a Senior Program Associate on WestEd’s Special Education Policy & Practice team.

Doutre is dedicated to creating accountability and funding systems that fuel innovations for improved outcomes, effectuate high expectations for students and educators, empower families as teachers and advocates, and ensure protection of the rights of students with disabilities. She builds state capacity as a leader for the National Center for Systemic Improvement and the Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting. She specializes in general supervision systems, differentiated monitoring and supports, and resource allocation to improve outcomes. Doutre’s technical assistance to states has resulted in streamlined systems to identify and correct noncompliance, freeing resources for intensive supports and local innovation.

Her contribution to state guidelines for braided and blended funding strategies to address significant disproportionality in special education has helped to allay fears of noncompliance and to empower administrators to focus on innovative, inclusive practices.

Prior to joining WestEd, Doutre consulted for state education agencies on policy development and evaluation, improvement planning, and data collection and reporting. Previously, she monitored state programs and developed policy guidance while at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, and taught high school special education.

Doutre is completing a PhD at Utah State University in sociobehavioral epidemiology, has an MA from The George Washington University in education policy studies, and has a BA in special education and elementary education.