Under the leadership of the Obama administration, the federal government has been taking a comprehensive look at how its policies affect the way urban and rural areas develop and how well those places support the people who live there, in all aspects of their lives—education, health, housing, energy, and transportation. In 2010 and 2011, President Obama directed the Office of Management and Budget, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, and the Office of Urban Affairs to conduct a comprehensive review of federal programs affecting places, the first of its kind in 30 years. For the first time, agencies were asked to consider how place matters to their work. The reviews represented important first steps toward more strategically leveraging federal investments in an integrated way, on a regional scale, and in a particular place to have the most transformative impact.
This report looks at the progress that has been made since that first place-based budget guidance was issued in 2010: How federal agencies are working together to coordinate and leverage their work in particular places, how a community of practice is being formed as organizations adopt the place-based approach, and how the Department of Education is working to achieve transformative impact through a focus on people, places, and results. We also will explain what it means to be place-based and show how communities around the country have adopted this model to direct resources and realize results for those who need it most. We also will highlight the unique role of federal agencies in catalyzing this approach and the value proposition of a place-based strategy in the education sector.