State of Play: Pay for Success and Evidence-Based Policy June/July 2016

The following post was written by Nicole Truhe, America Forward’s Director of Government Affairs.

America Forward held its bi-monthly Pay for Success and Evidence-Based Policy Network call at the end of June to discuss the current “State of Play” in Pay for Success and evidence-based policy and practice. This post reflects the major updates provided on the call and additional resources to access more information about new laws, legislation, Administrative initiatives, and the state level efforts in the Pay for Success and evidence-based policy and practice space.

Congressional Updates:
The Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act

The Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (House) by Representatives Todd Young (R-IN) and John Delaney (D-MD), is a slightly reworked version of a previous bill, the Social Impact Partnership Act, which was introduced in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate (H.R. 1336/S. 1089) earlier this Congress. The U.S. Senate version was introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Michael Bennett (D-CO). Both versions of the legislation would direct federal resources to states and local communities to support innovative Pay for Success feasibility studies, evaluations, and end payment structures.

On June 22nd, the House passed the legislation. Jaymi Light of Congressman Young’s office (R-IN) and Xan Fishman from Congressman Delaney’s office (D-MD) joined our recent call to provide an update to our network about the bill and its significance. Click here to read America Forward’s statement on its House passage.

The Senate is now considering whether to take up the new House version of the bill, which includes a one-year reauthorization of TANF and a pay for or funding offset, or to try and move their bill in which case they still need to find a way to fund the bill and a legislative vehicle to move the bill forward. America Forward will continue working with Senators Hatch and Bennett on the Senate legislation and to encourage the Senate to take action on the bill.

Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act

After passage of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act, which was introduced by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) this Congress, the process has now moved to identifying Commission members so that the work of the group can begin. The President, Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid have all named their three members to the Commission. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the only leader yet to announce his appointments. The list of members is below and the Commission may begin its work as early as late July.

Katharine Abraham, Chairperson (Presidential appointee)
Ron Haskins, Co-Chairman (appointed by Speaker Ryan)
Dr. Paul Ohm (Presidential appointee)
Allison Orris (Presidential appointee and OMB designee)
Dr. Sherry Glied (appointed by Minority Leader Pelosi)
Dr. Hilary Hoynes (appointed by Minority Leader Pelosi)
Dr. Latanya Sweeney (appointed by Minority Leader Pelosi)
Dr. Robert Groves (appointed by Minority Leader Reid)
Dr. Jeffrey Liebman (appointed by Minority Leader Reid)
Kim Wallin (appointed by Minority Leader Reid)
Dr. Robert Hahn (appointed by Speaker Ryan)
Dr. Bruce Meyer (appointed by Speaker Ryan)

Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century

The House Education and Workforce Committee introduced a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The bill contains many important provisions related to outcomes, innovation and Pay for Success needed to drive the career and technical education system in a more evidence-driven direction. The House Education and Workforce Committee held a mark up of the bill on July 7th. The bill with minor amended changes passed unanimously out of Committee and moves now to the House floor. There is not currently a companion version of the bill in the Senate.

Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations

The Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations process is underway. President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2017 budget on February 9th and this marked the beginning of the budget and appropriations process. The President’s budget contained a number of evidence and innovation related priorities that are outlined here. The process has now turned to Congress where markups for many of the 12 subcommittee bills have been held or are on the schedule.

The Senate Labor-Health and Human Services-Education subcommittee and full Appropriations committee successfully introduced, marked up, and voted out its L-HHS-Ed bill, where many Pay for Success and evidence-based programs are contained, in mid-June. Of significance is that the Social Innovation Fund was defunded in the bill.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education bill (L-HHS-Ed bill) was successfully voted out of the Appropriations Committee on July 14th. It was successfully voted out of subcommittee the week before on July 7th. As opposed to the Senate version of the bill, the Social Innovation Fund is fully funded at $50 Million with the 20% set aside for Pay for Success.

Federal Agency Updates

Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success Competition

In addition to the twenty-five Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success competition sub-awards that were announced in mid-April, the Corporation for National and Community Service recently announced three new Social Innovation Fund Pay for Success grantees. These new grantees will provide transaction structuring support to state and local governments and nonprofits. Learn more about the new SIF Pay for Success grantees by clicking on the links below:

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Pay for Success Demonstration

Bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation that authorizes a Pay for Success multifamily energy and water conversation Pay for Success demonstration in affordable housing was introduced and successfully passed out of Congress last year. HUD is now authorized to test energy efficiency solutions in HUD-assisted, multi-family housing with the goal of reducing costs to the federal government. In June, HUD took the first step in releasing guidance about the program and its process for choosing an intermediary who will manage the project. The announcement here is a precursor to the formal NOFA/RFI that is anticipated in the coming months.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)/Department of Justice (DOJ) Pay for Success Demonstration

In 2014/2015, Congress authorized DOJ to make funds available for a Pay for Success initiative implementing the Permanent Supportive Housing model for a population continuously cycling between the criminal justice system and homeless services. Through an interagency agreement, HUD and DOJ released a NOFA at the end of 2015 with a close date of February 2016. On June 24th, HUD and DOJ awarded $8.7 million in demonstration grants to entities across the country focused on addressing homelessness and reducing recidivism among justice-involved individuals using Pay for Success. The seven grantees are: Corporation for Supportive Housing, Third Sector Capital Partners, United Way of Anchorage, Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, University of Utah, American Institutes of Research, and Ending Community Homelessness Coalition.

Department of Education Announcements

The Administration is identifying ways to support the use of Pay for Success and evidence through its contract forecast opportunities as well as through other communication means. In June, the Department of Education launched a new website devoted to all things Pay for Success and also set up a new email address providing an opportunity to provide suggestions or ask questions about Pay for Success. In addition, the Department of Education took the first step in releasing guidance about establishing a Preschool Development Grants-Preschool Pay for Success Feasibility Study Pilot. The announcement in the Federal Register is here and it is anticipated that the formal announcement will be released in the coming months.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) State Plans and Final Rule

Passed in July of 2014, WIOA reauthorized the federal workforce and job training system for the first time in 15 years. WIOA contained many new provisions and authorities including Pay for Success/Pay for Performance authorized use at both the state and local workforce agency/board level and also redefined performance and evidence measures. Since passage, the Department of Labor has issued proposed regulations and just recently released final regulations for implementing WIOA. In addition, states have submitted draft plans to the federal government for review and approval in advance of a July 1st program start. (Note: The workforce system runs on a PY of July 1-June 30, which is different from the FY Oct 1-Sept 30 timeline). Six states: California, Indiana, New Mexico, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, included language in their draft state plans about implementing the Pay for Performance authorities.

State Update

City of Chicago Early Learning Pay for Success Project

Launched in October 2014, the Child-Parent Center Pay for Success Initiative aims to increase school readiness and academic performance as well as reduce special education services through the Child-Parent Center half-day preschool model. In May, the first results of the project were announced by IFF and SRI International, respectively the project manager and evaluator for the Pay for Success project. Sam Aigner-Treworgy, Director of Early Education Policy at City of Chicago, provided an overview of the project and walked through the high level results for the first cohort. This makes three launched Pay for Success projects that have announced at least first year outcomes.

For the latest Pay for Success and evidence-based policy news and information, follow America Forward on Twitter. If you are interested in learning more about Pay for Success, evidence-based policy, or America Forward’s related advocacy efforts, please contact America Forward’s Government Affairs Director, Nicole Truhe at

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