The U.S. Department of Education released today the application for the second phase of the Promise Neighborhoods program, including new implementation grants and a second round of planning grants, totaling $30 million. Nonprofits, institutions of higher education and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for funds to develop or execute plans that will improve educational and developmental outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.
The Department expects to award first-year funds for four to six implementation grants with an estimated grant award of $4 million to $6 million. Implementation grantees will receive annual grants over a period of three to five years with total awards ranging from $12 million to $30 million. Remaining 2011 funds will go toward 10 new one-year planning grants with an estimated grant award of $500,000.
Promise Neighborhoods grants will provide critical support for comprehensive services ranging from early learning to college and career, including programs to improve the health, safety, and stability of neighborhoods, as well as to boost family engagement in student learning. President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget requests $150 million to provide continued funding support to implementation grantees in addition to funding a new round of planning and implementation grants.
"Education is central to revitalizing our nation's distressed communities," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "This next round of Promise Neighborhoods grants will help communities create and put into action plans that provide children and families with the educational opportunities, health services and safety they deserve."
The new implementation grants will support communities in their efforts to enlist and coordinate better education, health and safety services, as well as provide young people the opportunity to be successful at the key stages of their lives. Specifically, funds can be used to improve learning inside and outside of school, build support staff, secure additional and sustainable funding sources, and establish data systems to record and share the community's development and progress. Like round one, planning grants will continue to support the creation of plans for providing high-need communities with the groundwork for building cradle-to-career services with great schools at the center.
"The challenges in distressed neighborhoods demand innovative solutions," said Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for Innovation and Improvement. "Through round one, we're seeing great work happening in many communities planning Promise Neighborhoods - using data to better understand community needs and drive decisions, building strategic partnerships and leveraging public and private resources to dramatically improve the lives and life outcomes of children and youth. We look forward to seeing this great work spread to more communities in round two."
In fiscal year 2010, the Department launched the first round of the Promise Neighborhoods competition, making available a total of $10 million for one-year planning grants. More than 300 communities from 48 states and the District of Columbia submitted applications. Currently, 21 communities across the country are developing plans to create Promise Neighborhoods.
Because of the great potential for Promise Neighborhoods to catalyze the revitalization of communities in significant distress, it is closely linked to the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which seeks to align federal housing, education, justice, financial asset building and health programs with the overarching goal of transforming neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity.
Applications will be due on September 6, 2011. Winners will be selected and awards will be made no later than Dec. 31, 2011. Officials from the Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement will conduct several webinars for potential applicants. All webinars require participants to register in advance. Registration and additional information about the Promise Neighborhoods program will be available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/index.html in the coming days.