Pay for Success

Filed in Uncategorized by on March 10, 2015 0 Comments

Originally printed in the Idaho Press Tribune

House Bill 170, “Pay for Success,” is sponsored by Sen. Bob Nonini. The bill would let Idaho’s education department contract with private companies for education programs and then pay once the programs are shown to work.

The phrase “Pay for Success” seemed familiar, so I turned to Google, and the response

The carpetbaggers are at it again, trying to get taxpayers to subsidize the stuff that is supposed to be funded by business as a part of research and development. Worse yet, this bill gives an advantage to corporations and not the classroom practitioners, who in the past have been instrumental in producing innovative programs. It also gets the state more involved in local curriculum.

The website “Pay for Success” is a playbook. An education carpetbagger company approaches the Idaho Department of Education with an idea. Then the Department of Administration gets involved! Yes, that Department of the IEN fiasco Administration!

A contract is drafted stating the pilot costs will be reimbursed if the project is successful. The pilot program is done and the evaluation is conducted by another “independent contractor.” If the pilot program is found to be successful, then the company gets retroactive payment for something that used to be a business cost.

In the past, pilot projects were a risk taken on and did not cost the participating institution. Research was evaluated by our land-grant universities and published in peer-reviewed journals. Many successful programs were developed by teachers working with university staff. Commercial programs were developed and piloted free of charge. If a program was successful, it was produced and distributed for a very reasonable cost.

HB170 is wrong on many levels. It subsidizes the educational-industrial complex, favors corporations over practitioners and researchers and adds to education costs.

* Mary Ollie

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