The Education Dept. distributes about $2.3 million in Pay for Success (PFS) awards to improve career and technical education (CTE) programs for at-risk youths, as well as to advance effective dual language programs for early learners.
Pay for Success, the centerpiece of the President’s social innovation agenda, is a new funding tool designed to find and scale what works. PFS helps government fund better, more effective solutions by aligning funding with positive social outcomes. Instead of paying upfront for the promise of results, PFS enables government to pay only after positive outcomes are achieved. Impact investors often cover the upfront costs of providing services and are repaid with a modest return if the programs work.
To improve outcomes for underserved, high-need youth, the department awarded a $2 million grant to the Boston-based Social Finance Inc. — with Jobs for the Future (JFF) — to support the development of PFS projects to scale up high-quality CTE opportunities.
To improve outcomes for children learning English, the Department has awarded a $293,049 contract to the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR) to conduct a feasibility study to identify at least two promising school sites that are using evidence-based interventions for early learning dual language models. The study will examine if a PFS project could take shape to help scale the interventions to reach more students those who need them.
Social Finance and Jobs for the Future will hold a competition to select four local programs with a focus on CTE and will help them determine how a PFS project could help. Social Finance will then help up to three of these sites actually construct and launch high-quality PFS projects for CTE. A growing body of evidence indicates that these CTE programs produce positive outcomes for underserved youths, including increased rates of high-school graduation and achievement of credentials.
Dual Language Programs for Early Learners
AIR will study how educational outcomes for students learning English could be improved. Children learning English may need supports to ensure they read at grade level by the third grade – a milestone widely accepted as key for a child’s future success. Yet schools and communities don’t often have the resources they need to provide those services. The target population for the research will be Spanish-speakers, who represent approximately 80% of English learners.
Info: https://goo.gl/aB5G2b (website).