News in Brief: A Washington Roundup

December 05, 2001 2 min read

Virginia Official Named To Special Education Post

Secretary of Education Rod Paige has tapped a Virginia state official to be the Department of Education’s deputy assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services.

Before joining the department last week, Loretta Petty, 33, held two positions in the administration of Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III. She was the chief deputy commissioner for the Virginia Department for the Aging from 2000 until this year. In addition, she served from 1998 to 2000 as the chief deputy commissioner for the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services, where she managed the three divisions of the department and oversaw the budget.

From 1995 to 1996, Ms. Petty was the policy coordinator for the Virginia Department for Rights of Virginians with Disabilities. In that position, she served as a liaison with legislators and federal and state agencies.

In her new job, which does not require Senate confirmation, Ms. Petty will help Assistant Secretary Robert Pasternack with the general management of the office of special education and rehabilitative services. As the No. 2 official, she will assist Mr. Pasternack in directing the office’s operations for national special education and rehabilitative programs.

She graduated from Radford University, in Radford, Va., in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, sociology, and criminal justice.

—Lisa Fine

Colorado Republican Won’t Seek Re-Election

Rep. Bob Schaffer, R-Colo., an outspoken conservative who has played an active role in education policy, has announced that he will leave the House at the end of his current term.

First elected in November 1996, Mr. Schaffer, 39, made a campaign pledge to serve for just three terms.

The vice chairman of the House education committee’s Subcommittee on Education Reform, Mr. Schaffer was one of 34 Republicans to vote last May against the House bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. He suggested at the time that the legislation might better be called the “Leave No Mandate Behind” bill.

“He’s clearly one of the [committee’s] standard-bearers of the conservative wing of the Republican Party,” said Vic Klatt, a lobbyist who formerly was the top education aide for Republicans on the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

Mr. Schaffer has been a leading critic of the Department of Education’s financial management.

—Erik W. Robelen

A version of this article appeared in the December 05, 2001 edition of Education Week as News in Brief: A Washington Roundup