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Campus Notebook: President Backs D.C. School Vouchers Program

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal 2013 financial services and general government spending bill, which covers the D.C. budget, that would provide $13.5 million for the voucher program. The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider its version of the spending bill Wednesday, and it is likely to approve the full $20 million for the program.

Black Officers Begin Process for Discrimination Complaint

Last week, a group of black Capitol Police officers began the formal process of filing an official complaint with the Office of Compliance against their agency’s top brass for alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Such a complaint is the first step in what could ultimately become a lawsuit if not resolved through internal mediation.

Chris Ferguson, second vice chairman of the Capitol Police Labor Committee, told Roll Call recently that a handful of black officers have alleged a pattern of discrimination regarding how they are treated when they make requests for paid leave under the law.

Specifically, the officers say they have been denied leave arbitrarily or have been told their paperwork has gone missing or lost. In many cases, these black officers say similar requests for time off by their white counterparts are processed and approved without incident.

In addition to filing with the OOC, Capitol Police Labor Committee President Jim Konczos told Roll Call that union representatives met last week with staffers for the Congressional Black Caucus. He was assured, he said, that the union’s concerns on this matter would be communicated to CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).

“He might be giving the acting chief [Tom Reynolds] a telephone call,” Konczos added.

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Correction: June 19, 2012

An earlier version of the article misspelled the last name of Mayor Vincent Gray’s spokesman, Pedro Ribeiro.


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