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Should New Promise Neighborhoods Include Charter Schools?

Winners of grants for 21 new "Promise Neighborhoods" based on the Harlem Children's Zone were announced today. Will they need charter schools to work?

The Obama administration yesterday announced the winners of planning grants for the development of "Promise Neighborhoods" around the country. The communities are inspired by the Harlem Children's Zone, which provides everything from charter school educations to so-called "wraparound services," such as asthma prevention and career counseling programs, all designed to improve the educational outcomes of children living in the nearly 100-block area.

According to Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, who spoke with education reporters via conference call this afternoon, there were more than 300 applicants for the grants and 21 winners, who will receive up to $500,000. Duncan also noted that the number of winners was limited to 21 by the $10 million in funds that the Office of Innovation and Improvement had on hand to mete out. He added that there were 100 excellent applications, and he hopes that by releasing the results of the competition, local corporations and philanthropic organizations will step in and help develop these communities.

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