Keep Goldman Sachs out of ESEA. No to Pay for Success.


-Bev Johns, Chair, ISELA – Illinois Special Education Coalition

ISELA, the Illinois Special Education Coalition, opposes the inclusion in ESEA of Pay for Success as a possible use of Federal funds authorized under ESEA.

A majority of the 15 Statewide Associations that are Members of the Illinois Special Education Coalition voted last week to seek to remove in the Conference Committee between the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, used to be called No Child Left Behind) the provisions that allow States and local school districts to use Federal funds for Pay for Success.

In both the State of Utah, and in Chicago, Illinois, Goldman Sachs and the Pritzker Family Foundation are being paid public funds for children NOT receiving special education.

For every child that avoids special education in a specific population receiving early education, Goldman is paid a fee ($9,100 in Chicago) every year for each and every child that continues to avoid special education.

This is a dangerous incentive not to identify children as needing special education.

In Utah a demonstration project claimed a 99 percent success rate: of 100 children suspected of being eligible for special education, 99 were later NOT so identified.

There is no evidence that any complex educational program exists that has a 99 percent success rate,let alone for the tremendously varying types of disability recognized under Federal law.

The permissive use of Federal funds for Pay for Success is now in both the House and the Senate ESEA bills.

These are the parts of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate ESEA bills that need to be removed in the Conference Committee.

House ESEA (was No Child Left Behind): HR 5 – Student Success Act Title II Subpart 1 Grants to States Sec. 2113 (b)(2)” (F) support State or local Pay for Success initiatives that meet the purposes of this part.”

Title II Subpart 1 Formula Grants to States Sec. 2211 (d)(3)(A) “(ix) Supporting State or local Pay for Success initiatives that meet the purposes of this part.”


Senate ESEA (was No Child Left Behind): S.1177 – Every Child Achieves Act (1) allows states and local school districts to invest their Title I, Part D funds (Programs for Neglected, Delinquent, and At Risk Children and Youth,

$47.6 million in FY15) in Pay For Success initiatives; 2) allows local school districts to invest their Title IV, Part A funds (Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities, $70 million in FY15) in Pay For Success  initiatives; and (3) allows states to invest their early childhood coordination funds (Early Learning Alignment and Improvement Grants, newly authorized program) in Pay For Success initiatives


Contact your own U.S. Representative and your two (2) U.S. Senators.


In Conference Committee on S.1177, please remove Pay for Success as an allowable use of funds through Title I, Part D (Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth Who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk) and Title IV, which funds programs addressing student health and safety, from the Senate version of ESEA on the ESEA bill.


In Conference Committee, please remove from H.R. 5, the Student Success Act, the provisions that make Pay for Success initiatives an allowable use of state and local funds in Title II and in the Teacher and School Leader Flexible Grant.


Pay for Success has been used in Utah to prevent 99 percent of children supposedly headed for special education from actually being identified for special education, and paid Goldman Sachs and other investors for each child NOT placed in special education. This is a huge financial incentive to NOT identify children as needing special education, and there is absolutely no research stating 99 percent Keeof students in special education should not be there.

In Chicago, Pay for Success may allow Goldman Sachs to double its investment, depending on how many students are NOT identified for special education.

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