Mayor Lee Announces San Francisco Awarded U.S. Dept of Education 2011 Promise Neighborhoods Grant
Mission Economic Development Agency, SFUSD & City Selected for Planning Grant to Improve Education in Mission Neighborhood
12/19/11— Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) today announced that the U.S. Department of Education has selected San Francisco’s Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) to receive a Promise Neighborhoods planning grant. Funding for a one-year $500,000 grant was awarded to support school improvement and revitalize the Mission neighborhood.
“The Promise Neighborhoods grant is a boost to our City’s efforts to improve schools, transform neighborhoods and strengthen communities for our youth to succeed,” said Mayor Lee. “I thank President Obama and Education Secretary Duncan for choosing the Mission community as recipients of the Promise Neighborhoods planning grant that will help prepare our youth for the 21st Century workforce.”
“Promise Neighborhoods recognizes that children need to be surrounded by systems of support inside and outside of the classroom to help them be successful in school and beyond,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The 20 grantees announced today are spread out across the country, reflecting a broader nationwide movement to revitalize struggling communities by providing better access to health care, social and safety services partnered by great schools.”
“This investment in our community will allow us to create true innovation, ensuring children, youth and families in the Mission have strong schools, opportunities to become economically successful, and robust systems of family and community support that will allow them to thrive," said MEDA Executive Director Luis Granados. "When a family is economically secure and has assets, they will be better positioned to help their children succeed in school. Our goal with this grant is to help students and families do just that.”
“This is a great opportunity to further coordinate neighborhood resources and services to strategically support children and families in the Mission District,” said SFUSD Superintendent Carlos Garcia. “We look forward to collaborating to make sure students within the Mission District have access to all of the opportunities that should be afforded to children. This is an important complement to the work we have begun through our school improvement initiatives.”
Last year, the SFUSD applied for and received a three-year $45 million Federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) to support the turnaround and transformation of student outcomes at state-identified “persistently low-performing schools.” Six of the ten schools benefitting from the grant are located in the Mission District and are part of a newly created “Superintendent’s Zone” led by Assistant Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero, who collaborated on the development of the Promise Neighborhood grant application. Mission area schools are demonstrating improvement by incorporating a deep focus on literacy instruction, professional development for teachers, additional support staff, and a community schools approach.
The Promise Neighborhoods program has awarded one-year grants to support the development of a plan to implement the vision of the Promise Neighborhoods program so that all children and youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career. More than 200 organizations from 45 states applied for the grants and 15 planning grants were awarded to fund planning activities to transform 15 new communities into Promise Neighborhoods.
Congress recently identified $60 million for 2012 to support the continued implementation of the Promise Neighborhoods program. With this awarded planning grant, MEDA, SFUSD, and the City together intend to submit a compelling case next Spring for a share of these funds to support children and families in the Mission District of San Francisco.