The Department of Education has posted the list of potential Promise Neighborhoods applicants who submitted a notice of Intent to Apply on or before May 21. Go to the main page and look at the top item under ‘What’s New.”
There are 941 potential applicants listed, about 2/3 of which (668) applied under Absolute Priority 1. A good number of rural communities (170) applied under Absolute Priority 2 and the Department’s outreach to Native Americans paid off with 48 applications from tribal communities. Another 55 did not indicate their intended application priority.
Also interesting: it appears that nearly 100 of the applicants are universities, or at least departments or organizations with some strong connection to a university.
Hello to all our friends out there! Hello as well to some of you we didn’t know about.
There are two things worth noting: (1) Applicants were not required to submit this notice, so there may be other efforts out there that are not listed; and (2) DOE’s experience with the i3 program showed that there is drop off between the number of potential applicants and the final number who actually apply. According to Education Week, nearly 2,500 districts, schools, and nonprofits submitted intents to apply for i3, but only 1,669 ended up applying by the final deadline earlier this month.
Given that no more than 20 neighborhoods will be selected, that is an implied selection rate of around 2% of organizations that gave notice. That’s more competitive than any Ivy League school I know of. It also further reinforces that if you are applying then you need to have everything in place (dedicated staff or consultants, neighborhood and schools chosen already, private and public funders in place, university participation for data and indicators, and more) and even then you are not assured. Let me reinforce that there are nearly 100 universities or university-affiliated applications in the mix, and their pockets and access to expertise are deep.
Rethinking those buddy invitations? We have paired a few very serious applicants that will be in the running for that top 2%. Let me know if you are still interested in the buddy system. You should also let me know if you are interested in the outside pre-application expert reviewers.
Here are the top states with the most applicants (check the last page of the pdf for the totals for your state if not listed below:
- California (107)
- Texas (55)
- Illinois (54)
- Florida (50)
- New York (47)
- Pennsylvania (45)
- Ohio (36)
- Michigan (33)
- North Carolina (33)
Important Commentary: I think a lot of you will be tempted to view the others in your city and state as competition. That is natural in a competitive grant process. But there is something more important to think about here. In many of these states there are enough applicants to create a state-wide effort to get state-level funding for place-based work, as has happened in Florida (see our write ups on Orlando’s Parramore Kidz Zone and the Miami Children’s Initiative, both of which receive state funding). I have worked at the national and state levels and I am interested in helping you with the political side of that. Please email me if you want my thoughts.
Postscript: Shout out to the anonymous person in the network who tipped me off. I don’t monitor the DOE site 24/7. It will be nice when I can give people credit for being so helpful. (smile)