It has been a busy couple of weeks for New Profit's policy arm, America Forward, which advocates for innovative public policy that leads to better outcomes and more efficient use of resources.
Above photo: Youth workers from Roca, a New Profit grantee dedicated to reducing recidivism, speak with a young program participant.
Last week, America Forward was deeply engaged as the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Read the statement on the committee's passage of the legislation. America Forward's Executive Director Deborah Smolover and Senior Policy Advisor Shirley Sagawa also published a great opinion piece in The Hill about the new legislation and the dramatic impact it could have:
"...this actually could be the year that Congress finally passes legislation, with bipartisan support, to update our most important education law. While this new promise of change is too late for the class of 2015, it could be great news for the class of 2028 – but only if Congress passes a bill this time that fully enables schools to innovate on a broad scale as new and better approaches are invented and tested, as they inevitably will be."
The Every Child Achieves Act that passed out of the Senate HELP committee also included elements that would also incentivize new "Pay for Success" programs. America Forward's Government Affairs Director, Nicole Truhe, was quoted in a great Nation Swell article about Pay for Success as a potential game-changer in the way we develop social service policy and programs. The article highlights New Profit grantee Roca and quotes George Overholser, CEO and co-founder of Third Sector Capital Partners, an organization that both America Forward and New Profit are partnering with to advance Pay for Success.
Finally, America Forward also released a statement last week applauding Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) for introducing the bipartisan, bicameral Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2015. The bill would create a commission to develop practices and processes for ensuring the use of evidence and outcomes in the development of policies and in the funding of interventions at the federal level.