President Obama Holds ESPN Town Hall on What Works for At-Risk Youth; Highlights US Department of Education First-Ever Grant to Develop Pay for Success Projects

Source: Social Finance, October 12, 2016

President Obama held a nationally televised town hall last night highlighting the progress of his My Brother’s Keeper Initiative and the Administration’s commitment to better serve at-risk youth. In conjunction with the event, the White House featured the announcement of a $2 million grant to Social Finance and Jobs for the Future from the US Department of Education to develop Pay for Success projects in career and technical education (CTE) programs to help ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. … Pay for Success projects allow governments to tackle pressing challenges, such as narrowing the achievement gap, by expanding proven programs. “The Obama Administration supports Pay for Success because it is advancing proven, data-driven solutions that are getting better results for communities in need,” said David Wilkinson, Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation. “With this award, the Department of Education is expanding the Pay for Success toolkit.” …


U.S. Department of Education Announces New Pay for Success Grant Competition for Preschool
Source: United States Department of Education Press Release, August 19, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the availability of $2.8 million for a Preschool Pay for Success grant competition for state, local and tribal governments interested in exploring the feasibility of Pay for Success to expand and improve early learning. The feasibility studies will determine if this model is an effective strategy to implement preschool programs that are high-quality and yield meaningful results. … The grant program supports initiatives which are based on evidence; focus on outcomes; and improve early, elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, while generating savings for taxpayers. The studies will identify a broad range of measures designed to demonstrate improved student outcomes; potential cost savings to school districts, local governments and states; and general benefits to society. Potential outcome measures may include:

  • Kindergarten readiness
  • Later improved social and emotional skills
  • Improved executive functioning
  • Reduction in grade retention and in the need for later special education
  • Reduction in discipline referrals, and interactions with law enforcement
  • Increases in high school graduation.