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Cancer Claims Long-Time CRS Aide Charlotte Fraas

After a prolonged battle with brain cancer, Charlotte Fraas, a long-time staffer for the Congressional Research Service who also worked as a legislative director for Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and as the head of government affairs for the American Federation of Teachers, died Tuesday. She was 59.

During most of her time in Washington, Frass was known as a specialist in education policy and education assistance programs.

Fraas began her career on Capitol Hill in 1970 when she joined CRS as an analyst. During her early years there, Fraas provided assistance to Members and Congressional staff on topics including veterans’ issues, immigration, crime, and juvenile justice and delinquency. From the late-1970s to the mid-1980s, Fraas was the lead CRS analyst on library aid issues and helped formulate the Library Services Construction Act amendments of 1983.

By the mid-1980s Fraas began working on higher education issues and soon became the lead analyst on several major programs under the Higher Education Act. Fraas left CRS in 1993 after spending several years leading the agency’s support of Congressional debates on student aid and student loan programs.

From 1993 to 1995, Fraas planned Miller’s legislative agenda and was a key player in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Fraas left Miller’s office for a job in the Education Department under then-President Bill Clinton before joining AFT.

“In all of her work, Charlotte exhibited the highest level of professionalism in serving the Congress on some of the most politically charged issues in education policy,” Miller said in a statement submitted to the Congressional Record on Tuesday. “In her career at CRS, she exemplified the best that CRS has to offer the Congress, a consummate professional analyst doing work of the highest caliber on sensitive, difficult issues critical to the Nation’s well-being.”

Fraas is survived by her husband, Phil, and two children, Paul and Katie.

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