Promise Funding News Update

No New Promise Grant Applications in 2013

The U.S. Department of Education announced that due to the amount of federal funding available through the 2013 continuing resolution budget it will be unable to hold a new grant competition this year for the Promise Neighborhoods program.

However, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) introduced legislation in early June to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and included Promise Neighborhoods funding.

The bill, Strengthening America’s Schools Act of 2013, authorizes grants to Promise Neighborhoods for up to five years, and would make the Promise Neighborhoods program more sustainable by embedding it in the Education Act. This is the second time Sen. Harkin has introduced this legislation.

Meanwhile, Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) has introduced the Promise Neighborhoods Act, H.R. 2195, which would permanently fund Promise Neighborhoods.

Rep. Payne, Jr., is the son of the late Rep. Donald Payne, Sr., who introduced similar legislation in 2011 as a companion bill to Sen. Tom Harkin’s legislation to embed Promise Neighborhoods in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Earlier in the year, we were hopeful that there would be another round of Promise Neighborhoods grant competition because the federal budget proposal included $300 million for Promise Neighborhoods, a big increase from what was appropriated last year ($60 million).

The US Department of Education FY 2014 budget proposal states, “This initiative supports high need communities that combine effective, cradle-to-career services for children and families with comprehensive reforms centered on high-quality schools.”

Meanwhile at least one state is moving forward with a state-wide Promise initiative plan. On May 3, the California Assembly Education Committee passed AB 1178, the California Promise Neighborhoods Initiative.

This legislation is modeled on the federal Promise Neighborhoods program, and would make California a leader in the nation in providing greater opportunities for children and families at a state level.