Insight Grants

The Promise Zone Initiative

With several currently open US Department of Education Grants (Project Prevent, Full Service Community Schools, and School Climate Transformation for LEAs) offering Competitive Preference (bonus) points for coordinating with the Promise Zone if the applicant is serving students within the Promise Zone, we thought it would be helpful to outline some basics on this.

What is the Promise Zone Initiative? During the 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama laid out an initiative to designate a number of high-poverty urban, rural and tribal communities as Promise Zones. In these Zones, the federal government will partner with and invest in communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety.

Where are the current Promise Zones? Philadelphia (PA), San Antonio (TX), Los Angeles (CA), Kentucky Highlands (KY), and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (OK).

Will additional Promise Zones be added in the future? There are currently plans for 15 more communities to be added in the next three years.

What are the grant implications for Promise Zones? As we are seeing with currently open grant opportunities, applicants serving persons in Promise Zones are given priority. Under the US Department of Education, this is playing out as Competitive Preference (bonus) points. Other grant programs are expected to offer bonus points or other methods for prioritizing applicants coordinating with Promise Zones.

Where can I get more information on Promise Zones? Visit the Promise Zones page at OneCPD Resource Exchange, and check out this fact sheet from

Insight Grants