Waiver authority under the Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) program would be extended by up to five years by spending legislation approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
According to language in the bill that covers the P3 program:
(c) Pilot sites selected under authorities in this Act and prior appropriations Acts may be granted by relevant agencies up to an additional 5 years to operate under such authorities.
The new language aligns with recommendations in a recent SIRC report on P3, which was released earlier this week and covered in stories in Education Week and Government Executive magazine.
The committee also included additional instructions in the accompanying Senate report that also reflect SIRC’s recommendations:
The Committee also notes that thus far a number of factors have led to a more modest start to utilizing flexibility available to pilot sites. The Committee urges the administration to enhance its efforts working with existing and new sites on the full range of flexibility that could be employed to improve outcomes for youth served through pilot sites. Further, the Committee bill also includes language extending the flexibility for current and future pilot sites by up to an additional 5 years in recognition of the challenges associated with implementing sustainable, positive change in systems serving this population. Finally, the Committee directs the administration to continue to provide annual reports providing the following information: detailed summary of all involved pilot programs, overview of how pilots were selected, summary of findings from the various pilots, and recommendations for Congress on how to apply any best practices learned more broadly.
The proposed language in the Senate bill is not final, however. The legislation must still be approved in the House and signed by the president. Spending bills often are not finalized until after the beginning of the fiscal year. In this case, the legislation probably will not be enacted in final form until after the presidential election this fall.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is still accepting applications for a second round of up to 10 awards, with a due date later this month. A third competition is expected later this year. The legislation adopted in the Senate would authorize a fourth round next year.