Washington Snapshot - October 13, 2016

Executive & Regulatory News IconExecutive & Regulatory News

President Obama Highlights First Department of Education Pay-for-Success Projects

Speaking at a national town hall on improving outcomes for at-risk youth, President Obama highlighted the announcement of two new pay-for-success awards from the Department of Education. The event explored the progress made through the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative for men and boys of color.

The first Department of Education award will develop pay-for-success models to implement and scale up high-quality career and technical education opportunities. The second award will support a feasibility study to identify promising school sites that are using evidence-based interventions for early learning dual language models where a pay-for-success project could help scale up the programs.

The Administration has made a priority of promoting pay-for-success as one pathway to achieve better results for people and communities in need, while freeing service providers to focus on what matters most. The Department of Education is one of seven federal agencies that have made funding available to advance pay-for-success.

State Policy IconHappening in the States

Exclusive from our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits.

National Council of Nonprofits logo

State Ballot Measures 2016

More than 200 million Americans in 35 states will have the opportunity November 8 to decide whether to approve new laws on a wide range of social and public policy issues. In total, 157 ballot measures are up for votes, nearly half of which have been proposed by citizen petitions. As Ballotpedia reports, citizen initiatives “are always more interesting, more controversial, and more compelling to voters.” Also, partisan interests wanting to turn out their base to vote for their candidates often work to get particular issues on the ballot that will motivate the base to show up to vote.

Issues this year range from fiscal policy – whether to raise taxes, designate dedicated funding streams, and create tax exemptions – to raising minimum wages, legalizing marijuana, and expanding health care coverage. See coverage by Governing for more information on specific subject areas.

The price to get on the ballot this year has varied across the states: promoters spent less than $120,000 to get one measure on the Alaska ballot, while the process for securing placement of 15 measures on the California ballot generated spending of nearly $45 million. In total, Ballotpedia calculates that more than $600 million has been spent on ballot measures so far, and 90 percent of that money is going to pass or defeat the citizen-sponsored initiatives.

News IconPhilanthropy News and Op-Eds

Casey Family Program Provides Update on Federal Child Welfare Policy

Council members joined a briefing call this week to hear an update on the current state of child welfare financing at the Federal levels and active efforts to reform that system. Speakers from Casey Family Programs highlighted the imbalance in current policy which sees the vast majority of child welfare spending go towards foster-care services while a much smaller proportion is used to support preventative interventions. They explained how they have engaged with lawmakers to educate them about the potential impacts of reform packages and overviewed next steps for supporters of active legislation. Members can access a copy of the briefing from the Council’s website.