The U.S. Department of Education has announced its first-ever awards supporting Pay for Success (PFS) strategies. The awards will use the innovative PFS funding approach to improve outcomes for advancing effective dual-language programs for early learners as well as career and technical education (CTE) programs. Pay for Success is a new funding tool designed to find and scale what works. Instead of paying up front for the promise of results, PFS enables government to pay only after positive outcomes are achieved.
The department has awarded a $293,049 contract to the DC-based American Institutes for Research (AIR) to conduct a feasibility study that will identify at least two promising school sites that are using evidence-based interventions for early-learning dual-language models where a PFS project could help scale the interventions to reach more students who need them.
“There has never been a greater need to focus on improving outcomes for our most at-risk student populations, such as economically disadvantaged students, justice-involved students, English learners, Native American youth, and children with disabilities,” said U.S. secretary of education John B. King Jr.
According to the department, “AIR will study how educational outcomes for students learning English could be improved through Pay for Success strategies. 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.”