Quick Hit LogoSeveral impoverished neighborhoods in Los Angeles were named as one of five national “Promise Zones” by President Barack Obama on Thursday as a way, in part, to mark the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s launch of the War on Poverty.

The Promise Zones initiative is meant to help health, education and other public agencies work together to improve conditions and opportunities for residents. The zones will “receive a competitive advantage when applying for federal grants, on-site support from federal officials, and, pending congressional approval, tax incentives for businesses hiring and investing in the community,” according to NPR.

The Los Angeles neighborhoods – Pico-Union, Westlake, Koreatown, East Hollywood and Hollywood – could receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding over the next decade, The Los Angeles Times reports. They are the only California neighborhoods selected as Promise Zones.

Neighborhoods in San Antonio and Philadelphia, as well as rural regions in Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, make up the other four Promise Zones designated by Obama. Obama expects to name an additional 15 Promise Zones across the nation over the next three years, officials said in announcing the program.

Lillian Mongeau covers early childhood education. Contact her or follow her @lrmongeau. Subscribe to EdSource’s Early Learning RSS feed.

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