President Obama was very inspired by the Harlem Children's Zone and the mission that Geoffrey Canada, the owner and founder of the organization, was trying and is achieving. So much so that President Obama started Promise Neighborhoods which was a replicated model of what the HCZ was doing in Harlem. The Obama administration allocated $75 million in the federal budget for programs all across the U.S. More than 330 communities across the nation applied for these funds and 21 communities received a one year grant between $400,000 to $500,000 to implement and come up with a program that would address the issues in their communities.
The controversial issues behind this all is the fact that not all professionals in the education or early childhood education field feel that the charter school system is a solution or the correct model for everyone. There have been many debates on charter school vs. public schools and that not all children are accepted in the charter schools because of the lottery system. So charter schools can not reach all children. That the funding that is put into charter schools should also be allocated for public schools so that they can do more. Another issue is that charter schools operate on longer school days where as public schools do not, giving those children the additional time and effort to help achieve those academic goals.
This organization is the perfect model, in my opinion, on what I have envisioned for my own city. The many programs and community services they provide is just what a lot of communities across the nation need. This organization has been a model for so long and has inspired other cities such as Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Cleveland and Maryland to name a few in implementing this model.