A Southland congressman expressed concern about Los Angeles’ Promise Neighborhood status and the future funding of the program in a letter sent Thursday to Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, urged the department to continue with the program, where 22 Promise Zone areas around the country can receive priority preference on competitive federal grant applications.

“Thanks to its Promise Zone designation, the Los Angeles Promise Zone has been able to invest $290 million in federal funding from 15 federal agencies into place-based education, workforce and economic development, housing, health and wellness, and public safety programs, improving the quality of life for residents and helping to break the cycle of poverty,” Schiff said.

“We are concerned that federal agencies, including the Department of Education, will no longer give this preference to Promise Zone areas that apply for federal grants. DOE must reaffirm that it will continue to give grant preference to Promise Zone communities, like the Los Angeles Promise Zone in my district, because they rely most heavily on these federal grants and would be most affected,” he said.

The Los Angeles Promise Zone includes East Hollywood and Hollywood in Schiff’s district, as well as Koreatown, Westlake and Pico-Union, with a second zone encompassing parts of South Los Angeles.

During her confirmation hearing, DeVos would not commit to continuing to fund the Promise Neighborhood program, which was established by former President Barack Obama.

–City News Service

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