Retiring Rep. Frank Riggs' eccentric career path has taken him from cop to congressman, and now to scholar.
Next month, he joins the Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow in education studies, the conservative, Washington-based think tank has announced. The California Republican, who led the House subcommittee on K-12 education in the 105th Congress, will help Heritage push for school choice and forge better relations with like-minded members of the upcoming 106th Congress.
Mr. Riggs sponsored several initiatives that reflected Heritage's ideals during his six-year stint in the House, including a proposal for vouchers for low-income students and more flexibility for charter schools.
"No member of Congress has been more involved with education matters, or better understands the need for education reform," Edwin Feulner, the president of the Heritage Foundation, said in the announcement Nov. 30.
Mr. Riggs' appointment begins Jan. 5. Although the current House was scheduled to deal with one remaining weighty issue--the possible impeachment of President Clinton--before going out of business, Mr. Riggs had shut down his office in Washington last week. Calls were being referred to his district office in Napa, Calif.
Don't Be Shy
Education groups shouldn't be shy about asking for a bigger slice of the budget pie next spring, political consultant Robert L. Borosage told the Committee for Education Funding this month. The Washington group lobbies for about 90 associations and institutions on budget issues.
"You have a bigger mandate from the public," Mr. Borosage said at the CEF's annual meeting in Washington on Dec. 4. "You've got the Republicans trying to figure out how to be the education party. You've got the Democrats saying, 'We are the education party.' And you've got a president whose only best hope is to be the education president."
Mr. Borosage is a co-director of Campaign for America's Future, a public-policy research group in Washington that specializes in progressive reforms.
--Joetta L. Sack & Anjetta McQueen
Vol. 18, Issue 16, Page 23