News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Ed. Dept. Settles Suit With Black Employees
The Department of Education will pay $4 million in damages to minority employees who alleged racial discrimination in the agency's employment practices, under a legal settlement approved by a federal judge last month.
The department will also reform its hiring practices as a result of the deal, which was negotiated last summer between the department and 1,100 current and former employees in the federal agency's headquarters in Washington. ("Ed. Dept. Agrees To Pay $4 Million To Settle Bias Suit," Aug. 2, 2000)
The employees filed suit in 1991, alleging that certain employment practices had the effect of denying promotions to African-American employees. Under the agreement, the Education Department did not admit wrongdoing, but it committed to revising the way it posts job vacancies, develops job-qualification materials, and selects employees for promotions.
—Erik W. Robelen
New Food Program To Assist Students Worldwide
President Clinton recently announced $300 million in grants for a new "international school lunch" program that seeks to improve child nutrition and school attendance rates for children in developing countries.
The Global Food for Education Initiative seeks to provide school meals to about 9 million children in impoverished parts of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. World leaders agreed to the program during the Dakar World Education Forum, held last April.
The Department of Agriculture will oversee the program, providing funds and surplus commodities to the cause.
An estimated 120 million children worldwide do not attend school partly because of hunger or malnourishment. The grants, implemented by private charities, will go to 38 countries that have pledged to provide universal access to a basic education.
"Experience has shown here at home, and around the world, that one of the best ways to get parents to send their children to school is a healthy meal," President Clinton said at a Dec. 28 ceremony announcing the initiative.
—Joetta L. Sack
Vol. 20, Issue 16, Page 34