WASHINGTON, D.C. | August 27, 2012 -
Dear Mr. Dodaro:
The Promise Neighborhoods program aims to improve educational and developmental outcomes for students in some of the country's most distressed urban, rural, and tribal neighborhoods by providing cradle-to-career support services. In 2012, the first year of the grant, the Department of Education dedicated $10 million to this program through the Fund for the Improvement of Education. Since that time, funding for the Promise Neighborhoods program has grown to $60 million, with the administration requesting $100 million in its fiscal year 2013 budget. The program provides funding for planning and implementation grants; and nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes, in partnership with schools, are eligible to apply.
We are concerned by apparent discrepancies in the awarding of planning and implementation grants related to the Promise Neighborhoods Program. In 2010, the department awarded organizations one-year planning grants with the expectation that grantees would be able to demonstrate a plan to improve results for children in the community being served at the end of the grant period. In 2011, the department awarded 15 new planning grants and five implementation grants. Three of the top five scoring planning grantees from 2010 submitted applications for implementations grants in 2011 but did not receive them, and one of the five organizations receiving implementation grants in 2011 did not receive a planning grant in 2010.
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