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U.S. Department of Education: Performance Partnership Pilots

Deadline: March 4, 2015

The Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) program will enable up to ten pilot sites to test innovative, outcome-focused strategies to achieve significant improvements in educational, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth using new flexibility to blend existing Federal funds and to seek waivers of associated program requirements. Disconnected youth are defined as individuals between the ages of 14 and 24 who are low-income, and either homeless, in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system, unemployed, or not enrolled in, or at risk of dropping out of, an educational institution. P3 pilots will receive start-up grants to support ongoing planning, streamlined governance, strengthened data infrastructure, improved coordination, and related activities to help pilots improve outcomes for disconnected youth.

Successful pilots will use cost-effective strategies to increase the success of disconnected youth in achieving educational, employment, well-being, and other key outcomes. Through a combination of careful implementation of evidence-based and promising practices, effective administrative structures, alignment of outcomes and performance measures, and more efficient and integrated data systems, P3 may produce better outcomes per dollar by focusing resources on what works, rather than on compliance with multiple Federal program requirements that may not best support outcomes.

P3 will support a youth-centric approach to service pathways by enabling pilot sites to define the key outcomes that youth in the target population should achieve and to coordinate services so they can achieve those outcomes. Pilots will: (1) Identify the pilot’s target population through a needs assessment; (2) use data and evaluations to determine the most effective strategies for serving the target population; (3) propose appropriate funding streams to blend in order to support the strategies; (4) identify the flexibility, both Federal and non-Federal, they need in order to implement the strategies; and (5) enter into a performance agreement with a lead Federal agency (designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)) and pilot partners (including any and all State, local, and tribal entities that would be involved in implementation of the pilot) that specifies pilot goals, outcome measures and interim indicators, accountability and oversight mechanisms, and responsibilities of the entities involved.

There are three absolute priorities under which an applicant may apply (an applicant must meet one of the below definitions in order to be eligible to apply for funding):

  • Absolute Priority 1—Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth: Applicants must propose a pilot designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth.
  • Absolute Priority 2—Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth in Rural Communities: Under this priority, applicants must:  (1) meet absolute priority 1; and (2) propose to serve disconnected youth in one or more rural communities only.
  • Absolute Priority 3—Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth in Tribal Communities: Under this priority,applicants must: (1) meet absolute priority 1; (2) serve disconnected youth in one or more Indian tribes; and (3) represent a partnership that includes one or more Indian tribes.

Additional points will be awarded to applicants who meet one or more of the following competitive preference priorities:

  • Competitive Preference Priority 1—Quasi-Experimental Site-Specific Evaluations (Up to 5 points): Under this priority, competitive preference will be given to applicants that propose to conduct an independent evaluation of the impacts on disconnected youth of their overall program or specific components of their program using a quasi-experimental design.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 2—Experimental Site-Specific Evaluations (Up to 10 points): Under this priority, competitive preference will be given to applicants that propose to conduct an independent evaluation of the impacts of their overall program or components of their program on disconnected youth using a randomized controlled trial.
  • Competitive Preference Priority 3—Promise Zones (0 or 2 points): Under this priority, competitive preference will be given to applicants that propose projects that are designed to serve and coordinate with a federally designated Promise Zone.

Amount: P3 allows States, localities, and tribes to blend certain FY 2014 discretionary funds from the Agencies in order to implement outcome-focused strategies for serving disconnected youth. When funds are blended, individual funding streams, or portions of the funding streams, are merged under a single set of reporting and other requirements, losing their award-specific identity. In order to provide incentives to participate in P3 and facilitate the initial implementation of performance agreements that will likely require additional coordination and collaboration among a range of State, local, and tribal agencies, start-up funding will be awarded in this competition. These start-up grants will be in the range of $400,000-$700,000 per grantee.

  • Estimated Available Funds: Up to $7,100,000
  • Estimated Average Size of Award:$550,000
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Eligibility: An application must be submitted by a lead applicant on behalf of a partnership that involves all public and private organizations (including non-profit, business, industry, and labor organizations) that will participate in pilot implementation and governance. The lead applicant must be a State, local, or tribal government entity, represented by a Chief Executive, such as a governor, mayor, or other elected leader, or the head of a State, local, or tribal agency. In addition to formally submitting the application, the official representing the lead applicant will serve as the primary official who is responsible for the pilot project if the proposal is selected as a pilot. A private, non-profit organization is not an eligible applicant for a pilot; however, it may have a significant role in the design, governance, and implementation of a pilot and may, if appropriate, be a signatory to the performance agreement.

Link: https://federalregister.gov/a/2014-27775

Note: The deadline for the optional notice of intent to apply is January 8, 2015.

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