Today, the U.S. Department of Education officially launched the Promise Neighborhoods program, the first federal initiative to put education at the center of comprehensive efforts to fight poverty in both urban and rural areas. The $10 million in grants available this fiscal year will support non-profit organizations with one-year of funding to plan for the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students within distressed neighborhoods. “The Promise Neighborhoods program brings all of the Department’s strategies together -- high-quality early learning programs, high-quality schools, and comprehensive supports -- to ensure that students are safe, healthy, and successful, Secretary Duncan said. “These services must be comprehensive, and they must put education at the center.” This program is based on the experience of programs such as the Harlem Children’s Zone, which serves a nearly 100-block area in New York City and has boosted student outcomes dramatically. The Department intends to make up to 20 planning grants, ranging between $400,000 and $500,000, with applications due June 25. Today’s release of applications for planning grants is just the first step in a multi-year process. President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal includes $210 million for five-year implementation grants and more one-year planning grants. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/. (Note: In support, the Department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) will conduct several webinars. Registration is required to participate. To register, see https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=207396&sessionid=1&key=15FEF9CB3F97B7B6064F1D1160373A4A&sourcepage=register.)
Applicants for the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund will find new resources online to assist them with the application process, including archived informational webinars, application tips, additional addenda to the Frequently Asked Questions, an overview of the matching requirement, a revised application package (with a more user-friendly version of the required Applicant Information Sheet, as well as a notice of the new closing date: May 12), and a paper on evidence and evaluation requirements and selection criteria. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www2.ed.gov/programs/innovation/.
Also, 12 national foundations have committed $500 million in 2010 to leverage the Department’s $650 million i3 Fund aimed at similarly aligned investments, making more than $1 billion available to help expand promising innovations in education. The foundations’ investments are a continuation of long-standing efforts to foster the education innovation sector. Those efforts include programs that revamp educator training, spur integrated technology tools for teaching and learning, and create capacity for alternative high schools. While each foundation will maintain independence in determining which programs to fund, the combined resources available to non-profit organizations, state and local education agencies, traditional public schools, and public charter schools will catalyze and grow cutting-edge ideas. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2010/04/04292010a.html.