A Washington Education Update: Can Washington Work Together to Address Issues Confronting the Nation?

This is a very difficult question and it cannot be answered very simply. In reality given how politics has aligned itself on Capitol Hill, each issue has to be addressed individually.

This piece is being written as the final battle lines are being drawn before there is agreement on a solution to the debt crisis and a first step for address the unbalanced budget better known as the budget deficit. It seems the Gang of Six has at least made the first foray into a bi-partisan proposal that has garnered support from President Obama and a bi-partisan group of some 50 senators.

Other things are happening both at the U.S. Department of Education and on the Hill.

From the U.S. Department of Education:
The U.S. Department of Education has released the application for the second phase of the Promise Neighborhoods program, including new implementation grants and a second round of planning grants, totaling $30M. Nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for funds to develop or execute plans that will improve educational and developmental outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.
The Department expects to award first-year funds for four to six implementation grants with an estimated grant award of $4M to $6M. Implementation grantees will receive annual grants over a period of three to five years with total awards ranging from $12M to $30M. Remaining 2011 funds will go toward 10 new one-year planning grants with an estimated grant award of $500,000.
Promise Neighborhoods grants will provide critical support for comprehensive services ranging from early learning to college and career, including programs to improve the health, safety, and stability of neighborhoods, as well as to boost family engagement in student learning. President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget requests $150M to provide continued funding support to implementation grantees in addition to funding a new round of planning and implementation grants.

Applications are due on Sept. 6, 2011. Winners will be selected and awards will be made no later than Dec. 31, 2011. Officials from the Department of Education's Office of Innovation and Improvement will conduct several webinars for potential applicants. All webinars require participants to register in advance. Registration and additional information about the Promise Neighborhoods program will be available at

Frederick (Fritz) S. Edelstein, Ph.D. is a principal in Public Private Action, LLC. Fritz works with clients on strategic government and constituent relations, advocacy research and policy analysis, strategic planning and resource development, and advocacy, outreach, and public engagement. He writes and disseminates “Fritzwire,” the nation’s leading Internet newsletter on education that provides timely education and related information, five days a week. His career includes time working at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S. Department of Education, and the National Alliance of Business. Fritz earned is B.A. from Washington University and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

About the Author

Fritz Edelstein is a principal in Public Private Action. His work focuses on strategic government and constituent relations, business development strategy, advocacy research and policy analysis, strategic planning and resource development, and advocacy, outreach and public engagement. This work includes producing Fritzwire, the education Internet newsletter providing timely information on education and related issues. To subscribe, write fritz@publicprivateaction.com.

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