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President’s Budget Has Love for Promise!

Here’s a breakdown on what’s in the President’s proposed budget for Promise Neighborhoods from PNI’s Deputy Director Kay Fernandez Smith:

President Obama released his FY 2013 budget proposal yesterday, and things are looking good for Promise Neighborhoods!

He included $100 million for the program, which is an increase of $40 million from Congress’ FY 2012 appropriation. This investment represents a strong commitment from the Administration to not only continue to fund Promise Neighborhoods, but to take the program to scale over time. The $100 million would support another round of competitive planning and implementation grants.

For more budget highlights, including Choice Neighborhoods and other place-based initiatives, see PolicyLink CEO Angela Glover Blackwell’s statement. PolicyLink will also be releasing a full equity analysis of the budget soon, so look out for that.

This budget proposal is a big step in the right direction, but we still have a lot of work to do to share the progress we have made on the ground. As Congress debates the President’s budget proposal, we need your Congressional Members to hear about, see for themselves, and learn about the great work you are doing in your Promise Neighborhood. In the coming weeks, we’ll share ways in which you can be involved in educating Congress about local Promise Neighborhoods efforts.

Promise Neighborhoods (and PNI) in USA Today!

USA Today highlights Promise Neighborhoods across the country in an article published today, and PNI director Michael McAfee stresses what sets the Promise Neighborhood model apart:

“We are focusing on results,” McAfee says. “I think that is what makes Promise Neighborhood different. … We are building a national infrastructure that holds ourselves accountable.”

It’s great to see Promise Neighborhoods getting good press, and also nice to see an emphasis on Promise Neighborhoods moving forward without federal funding.

Community residents at a Promise Neighborhood effort in St. Cloud, MN

Read the full article, and share widely!

Congratulations to the 2011 ED Promise Neighborhood Grantees!

The Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink congratulates the recipients of the FY 2011 US Department of Education Promise Neighborhoods grants.

The five Promise Neighborhoods implementation grantees are:

  • Berea College (Clay, Jackson, and Owsley Counties, Ky.)
  • California State University – East Bay (Hayward, Calif.)
  • Northside Achievement Zone (Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County, Inc. (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Westminster Foundation (Buffalo, N.Y.)

The 15 Promise Neighborhoods planning grantees are:

  • Black Family Development (Detroit, Mich.)
  • CAMBA (New York)
  • Campo Band of Mission Indians (Campo, Calif.)
  • Catholic Charities of Albany (Hudson, N.Y.)
  • Children Youth and Family Services (Charlottesville, Va.)
  • Community Action Project of Tulsa (Tulsa, Okla.)
  • Elmezzi Foundation (New York)
  • Martha O’Bryan Center (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Mercer University (Macon, Ga.)
  • Meriden Children’s First (Meriden, Conn.)
  • Mission Economic Development Agency (San Francisco)
  • Ohio University (Glouster, Ohio)
  • Reading and Beyond (Fresno, Calif.)
  • SGA Youth and Family Services (Chicago)
  • South Bay Community Services (Chula Vista, Calif.)

We are so pleased to see so many groups from our Promise Neighborhood network on this list, and excited to get to know the others. Our work to build this movement continues with all Promise Neighborhoods, whether or not they received federal grants. 2012 will be an exciting year!

Promise Neighborhoods Will Likely Get $60 million in FY 2012

Nothing is confirmed yet, as we’re still waiting for the vote next week, but we’re hearing that $60 million for Promise Neighborhoods has been included in the spending bill for FY 2012!

This is wonderful news for the communities across the country working to build Promise Neighborhoods, and will plan to apply for new or continued funding.

Read the full article from EdWeek, which outlines the spending bill areas related to education. Here’s the piece on Promise:

“And the Promise Neighborhoods program, which helps communities pair wraparound services, such as health, with education, was a big winner. It got $60 million, according to CEF. That’s up from about $30 million last year.”

Stay tuned! We’ll post details as we get them.

Promise Neighborhoods on the Hill–What You Need to Know

It’s that time again! Congress is negotiating the FY 2012 budget, and we’ve got to pay attention.

President Obama requested $150 million for Promise Neighborhoods. The Senate marked up $60 million, and is trying to figure out a solution with the House.

So what’s next? What can we expect? What should we do?

Check out this EquityBlog post for more information, and find out how to get involved!

No Gov’t Funding? The Show Must Go On!

We know how important the Promise Neighborhoods planning and implementation grants from the Department of Education are. We know how hard communities work to obtain one, and we’ve seen how transformative this funding and approach can be.

But what happens if you don’t get ED funding?

The DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative knows its answer: keep doing the work. Period.

Derek Lieu, for The Chronicle.

Even though DCPNI is not in the running for an implementation grant (due to a technical problem), it’s ready to keep improving the lives of children in the Parkside-Kenilworth neighborhood. Its matching grants are high–as are its spirits–and DCPNI leaders know that there’s little time to waste.

“Little time to waste” is a sentiment shared by all Promise Neighborhood leaders across the country as they look at the challenges facing their neighborhoods and see the potential for real, lasting change. The Department of Education will be announcing the next round of planning and implementation grantees soon, and since there will only be 16 grants awarded, most of the applicants will not receive federal funding. DCPNI has become one model of how to proceed without federal funding. There are many others.

From Seattle to South Tuscon to Chicago, Promise Neighborhoods are rising up, getting funds, forming relationships, and making a difference in the lives of their children. They’re engaging with the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink community of practice, learning from their peers, and taking advantage of the free data systems offered by PNI so that they don’t have to make the choice between providing valuable services and tracking indicators and outcomes.

Stay tuned for more on how communities are remaining committed to building a movement–and how PNI is standing with them. The show must go on!

For now, read the full Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the DCPNI!

Over 200 Promise Neighborhoods Applications!

This year, the Department of Education received 199 planning grant applications and 35 implementation grant applications.

Check out the EdWeek article for more!

Senate Subcommittee Approves $60 MILLION for Promise Neighborhoods!

You read that right!

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee approved $60 million in their FY 2012 bill! That’s DOUBLE the funding for Promise Neighborhoods in FY 2011!

We are so excited to see the support for Promise Neighborhoods from the Senate, and SO THANKFUL to the Senate leadership for recognizing the importance of Promise Neighborhoods!

Read the full press release for details, but here’s the juicy part:

“Promise Neighborhoods—The bill includes $60 million—a doubling of the fiscal year 2011 level–for the Promise Neighborhoods program. Inspired by the successful Harlem Children’s Zone program, Promise Neighborhoods supports local efforts to establish cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.”

Sec. Duncan Talks Up Promise Neighborhoods!

At the hearing on the FY 2012 Dept of Education Budget this morning, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the following statement about the Obama Administration’s budget request for FY 2012:

“Our request would significantly boost funding for the Promise Neighborhoods program to $150 million to support comprehensive, innovative and cost effective approaches to meeting the full range of student needs, drawing on the contributions of schools, community-based organizations, local agencies, foundations, and private businesses. Also the request would maintain funding for safe school programming designed to reduce substance use, violence, and bullying while providing states with greater ability to adapt interventions to school needs and drive resources to the most unsafe schools.”

And that’s not all! At the end of his testimony, Sec. Duncan fielded a question from Senator Pryor of Arkansas about Promise Neighborhoods. Transcript below (Watch the webcast for yourself–the section below starts at minute 78:32)!

Senator Pryor: I want to ask first about the Promise Neighborhoods program. This is something the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was able to get a planning grant for FY 2010, and I’m curious about your view of how the Promise Neighborhood projects are going, what kinds of results you’re seeing out there, and what kind of end results you’re going for.

Arne Duncan: This is a hugely important initiative to me. Particularly in our nation’s most distressed, most disadvantaged communities, the only way we strengthen those communities is by increasing the quality of education and building community support for that work, and building the kind of wraparound services and nonprofit partnerships that help schools to be successful in very tough communities. We were fortunate to be able to fund twenty planning grants—that being one of them—around the country. We had 300 applicants, and we had many more highly creative, thoughtful proposals that I would have loved to have funded that we simply didn’t have the money to do. In FY 2011 we have $30 million, and we’re going to do a combination of starting to fund some programs, some communities, for implementation, and others to continue to plan, but we would like to see a significant increase in the investment in Promise Neighborhoods for FY 2012 to really start to move to implementation across the country. And if in very poor rural communities—we have one planning grant in an Indian reservation, a Native American reservation—in distressed inner city communities where we can get the kind of results that Geoffrey Canada has done in the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York, dramatically transforming the life chances of young people there, we can prove, demonstrate, that communities can come together to help the most challenged children and families be very successful academically. So we think this is the right investment, it is early on, there is much greater need and capacity out there than we’re able to fund, and that’s what’s heartbreaking to me. There are people doing amazingly thoughtful work, collaborating, partnering in ways that have never been done before. We need to support that effort to not scale back, and so we would respectfully ask for significant increase in funding to move toward implementation to a wide variety of communities around the country.

Sen. Pryor: I think that’s great. So you’re seeing what you’d hoped to see out there, which is communities coming together and really getting great things done, and now you’re getting to the implementation stage.

Arne Duncan: And we were blown away by the number of applicants, the quality of applicants, and again, we were able to fund twenty, twenty-one; there were probably over a hundred that I would have felt great about investing in. I was thrilled to do the ones we did, I would love to have the chance to invest in many other communities.

Calling All Rural Communities! Dept of Ed Call This Monday!

The U.S. Department of Education will host a conference call on Monday, July 18, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET, for eligible rural entities intending to apply for the 2011 Promise Neighborhoods grant program.

Check out our website for more information on the conference call, and a pdf on the application process.


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