News Release

SEF receives $4.5 million grant to expand student-support initiatives through Outcomes Based Contracting

May 1, 2023 – Contact: Alan Richard, (202) 641-1300
ATLANTA — The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) has been awarded a three-year grant for more than $4.5 million from the Walton Family Foundation to enable many additional school districts to use Outcomes Based Contracting (OBC) for services that improve student outcomes.

By requiring that a significant portion of a school district’s payment to outside vendors be contingent on student growth, the OBC center at SEF empowers districts to contract for clear student outcomes and compels mutual accountability for achieving them.

SEF has now launched two national cohorts of school districts that use OBC. Most of the districts are using OBC agreements with vendors to provide high-impact tutoring in math for students needing additional support.

“This grant from the Walton Family Foundation will significantly strengthen SEF’s ability to help school districts in contracting for student-support services that build a more equitable educational environment for all students,” said SEF President Raymond C. Pierce.

The grant will also enable SEF to foster additional OBC projects in districts already using the strategy and share knowledge and lessons learned about OBC with education leaders across the country. SEF continues to develop OBC-related training, materials, workshops, research and analysis, evaluation tools, and other resources for school districts.

The OBC center at SEF is redefining the relationship between school districts and vendors and raising expectations for student outcomes. The program is part of SEF’s 155-year mission to improve education in the South, especially for Black students and students from low-income families. SEF’s OBC initiative reaches students beyond the South in recognition of education inequities nationwide.

SEF recently launched its second cohort of school districts using OBC after launching a successful pilot in 2021 that included school districts in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Colorado.

The 2022-23 cohort includes:

  • Jackson Public Schools, Mississippi
  • Richmond Public Schools, Virginia
  • Uplift Education, a Texas-based group of charter schools
  • Santa Ana Unified School District, California
  • Colorado Springs District 11, Colorado
  • Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico

This new grant is part of the Walton Family Foundation’s commitment to improve education and promote quality of life by creating access to opportunity for people and communities.

For more information, visit SEF’s OBC center online.