Statement from America Forward: Congress Should Pass ESEA Pay for Success Amendment


Below is a statement from Deborah Smolover, Executive Director of America Forward, New Profit’s nonpartisan policy initiative.

“America Forward commends Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), Rep. Todd Young (R-IN), and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) for the introduction of their amendment to H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, to make Pay for Success initiatives an allowable use of funds for States and School Districts to improve student outcomes and save resources by training and supporting educators. H.R. 5 is the U.S. House of Representatives’ bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Members of the America Forward Coalition support a reauthorized ESEA that is designed to ensure that all children, whatever their background, receive a first-class education, one that leads to economic security and the chance for a successful life. To accomplish this, we believe ESEA should focus on results and encourage programs and organizations that have achieved success. In a time of limited resources, it is critical to invest in a variety of approaches that focus on data, evidence and better results. ESEA should incentivize evidence-based programming as well as approaches that focus on outcomes, such as Pay for Success, that help accelerate and scale success for all students, and support implementation of the programming with fidelity. We believe this amendment is an important step to opening up Pay for Success models in ESEA.

We strongly support this amendment and look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to craft a reauthorized ESEA that catalyzes cross-sector partnerships, rewards results, spurs innovation, supports learner-centered systems, pushes forward on accountability and transparency, and ensures that our teachers and school leaders have the capacity to transform teaching and leading.”

To learn more about America Forward, please visit

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