Promise Neighborhoods

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Promise Neighborhoods is a United States Department of Education program established under the legislative authority of the Fund for the Improvement of Education Program. Their mission is to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed urban and rural neighborhoods. $10 million was allocated in fiscal 2010 to support 21 communities with one year of funding to plan for the implementation of "cradle-to-career" services.[1][2] Funding for fiscal year 2011 increased to $30 million; funding for 2012 increased to $60 million. Funding for fiscal year 2013 has not been finalized but is expected to be between $60 million and $90 million.

The Promise Neighborhoods program is based on the experience of programs such as the Harlem Children's Zone, which has boosted students' academic outcomes dramatically. Under the Promise Neighborhood program, non-profit organizations (which may include faith-based non-profits) and institutions of higher education will be eligible for one-year grants supporting the design of comprehensive community programs. The programs must have the specific goal of preparing students for success in college and careers. As part of the planning process, applicants must focus their efforts on schools in the neighborhood and build services for students in those schools from birth through college or career.[1]

The Promise Neighborhoods Institute was established by PolicyLink to assist communities interested in participating in the Promise Neighborhoods program. The three partner agencies that make up the institute are PolicyLink, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and the Harlem Children's Zone.[3][4]


The program is intended to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of all children in our most distressed communities, including rural and tribal communities, and to transform those communities by:

  1. supporting efforts to improve child outcomes and ensure that the outcomes are communicated and analyzed on an ongoing basis by leaders and members of the community;
  2. identifying and increasing the capacity of eligible entities that are focused on achieving results and building a college-going culture in the neighborhood;
  3. building a continuum of academic programs and family and community supports, from the cradle through college to career, with a strong school or schools at the center;
  4. integrating programs and breaking down agency "silos" so that solutions are implemented effectively and efficiently across agencies;
  5. supporting the efforts of eligible entities, working with local governments, to build the infrastructure of policies, practices, systems, and resources needed to sustain and "scale up" proven, effective solutions across the broader region beyond the initial neighborhood; and
  6. learning about the overall impact of Promise Neighborhoods and about the relationship between particular strategies in Promise Neighborhoods and student outcomes, including a rigorous evaluation of the program.[2]

Timetable and funding for 2010[edit]

This program was announced by the Department of Education on April 30, 2010.[1]

Key dates:[5]

  • Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 21, 2010
  • Deadline for Peer Reviewer Application: June 15, 2010
  • Extended Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 28, 2010
  • Extended Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 27, 2010
  • Deadline for Announcement of Awards: September 30, 2010

While President Barack Obama's fiscal 2011 budget originally included $210 million to support five-year grants to implement plans to offer comprehensive services and to support Promise Neighborhoods planning grants in additional communities,[1] the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to fund the program at $20 million.[6] The United States House of Representatives was expected to vote to fund the program for 2011 in the $20 million–$60 million range after the November 2010 elections.[6]

In subsequent years, contingent on the availability of funds, the Department of Education intends to conduct competitions for implementation grants, as well as competitions for new planning grants.[2]


339 applications covering all U.S. states were submitted for the $10 million in federal planning grants for 2010.[7]


The Department of Education announced the 21 recipients of Promise Neighborhood planning grants in September 2010. These year-long grants of up to $500,000 are to be used by the receiving organizations to develop a plan "to provide cradle-to-career services that improve the educational achievement and healthy development of children."[8] Recipients are in urban and rural communities, including one Indian reservation.

List of recipients and associated municipalities:


  1. ^ a b c d "U.S. Department of Education Opens Competition for Promise Neighborhoods". U.S. Department of Education. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Promise Neighborhoods: Purpose". U.S. Department of Education. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  3. ^ "Promise Neighborhoods Institute homepage". Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Creating Promise Neighborhoods". PolicyLink. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Promise Neighborhoods Application Information". U.S. Department of Education. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Senate Appropriations Committee Keeps Promise Neighborhoods at $20 Million". Building Neighborhoods. United Neighborhood Centers of America. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Promise Neighborhoods Applications Information". Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  8. ^ 'U.S. Department of Education Awards Promise Neighborhoods Planning Grants'. Official press release. September 21, 2010. Retrieved 12.07.10