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Council to consider interlocal with AISD

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 by Jo Clifton

This week City Council will consider an interlocal agreement between the city and the Austin Independent School District that will allow for administration of a proposed “Austin Promise Zone.” However, it is not clear exactly what such a designation would do absent congressional action. The purpose of the Promise Zone is to revitalize high poverty areas. These would include Rundberg, St. John’s, Colony Park, East Central and Dove Springs if the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development designates the areas as eligible for funding. Promise Zones are part of the Obama administration’s attempt to revitalize low-income communities throughout the country by attracting private investment, reducing crime and improving educational opportunities, among other things. AISD applied for the designation with support from the city, Travis County, United Way and the Austin Housing Authority, as what are called “key implementing partners.” The city must assign an employee to help coordinate assistance from various agencies, but there is no fiscal impact, according to Council agenda backup. Although the chances of congressional action may seem uncertain this year, if the areas are designated, the designation will last for 10 years.

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