Pat Quinn brought Social Impact Bonds to Illinois.
Special education advocate Bev Johns has written here warning about the impact of Social Impact Bonds on special education services.
What are Social Impact Bonds (SIBs)?
They have become a favorite privatization tool of corporate Democrats and others.
Wall Street loves them.
Also known as Pay for Success programs in which Wall Street investors, often using funding from private philanthropies, invest in social programs which once were funded directly by the government. The aim is to reduce government costs by offering profits to Wall Street.
When the first cohort of students enters kindergarten, CPS will begin paying the lenders for each fewer child who needs special education services when compared to the control group. CPS will pay $9,100 per child annually, an amount that increases by 1 percent each year.
The city did not provide Catalyst with a breakdown of how it calculated the $9,100 figure, but said it was “based on the time that teachers spend with children with specific learning disability types and the cost associated with that time per student.”
Who determines what counts as success?
When it comes to special education programs and SIBs, success is quantified by counting how many special needs students are moved out of the programs and how many have services removed or denied.
It is just the opposite of what we have fought in favor of for decades. For those of us who have taught Special Needs students, either as general education teachers, special subject teachers or special education teachers, we look at success as meaning accurately identifying the needs of individual students, providing evidence for those needs, and getting service and support to those students. We never considered that if we determined there was a continuing need to provide services to a student it meant we failed.
We don’t look at special education students in the aggregate. That is the opposite of the essence of the IEP, the Individualized Educational Program.
The program was supposed to be run through the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget under Quinn. Like a lot of what goes on in Springfield these days, it is not very transparent how it is working under Bruce Rauner.
The program, which Chicago officials said is the fifth social-bond program in the U.S., is meant to increase students’ readiness for kindergarten, improve literacy and lower the need for special-education programs.
Lenders will benefit from the savings that Chicago Public Schools will reap as less intervention is needed in later years, city officials said. Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund and Chicago-based Northern Trust Corp. are the senior lenders, and the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation is the subordinate lender.“There is nothing that’s more important than our kids,” Emanuel said in the statement. “Giving them a quality education from day one and helping provide their parents with the tools to be consistent and active partners in their children’s education is the best investment any of us can make.”