News Release

Growing number of school systems leveraging Outcomes Based Contracting to boost student support

Feb. 21, 2023Contact: Alan Richard,, (202) 641-1300 

ATLANTA ⎯ School systems in six states have joined the Southern Education Foundation’s second national cohort preparing to use Outcomes Based Contracting (OBC) with outside companies to provide academic support for students. The new cohort of six school systems assembled by the Southern Education Foundation (SEF) are among a growing number using OBC, a strategy that requires a significant portion of a system’s total payment to an outside contractor be contingent on student outcomes.

“Improving the efficiency of public education is part of our mission in advancing opportunity and equity for our nation’s students,” said Raymond Pierce, the president and CEO of SEF. “SEF is building the foundation for more widespread use of Outcomes Based Contracting, which holds tremendous promise for school systems in raising the quality of services they can expect from outside vendors.”

All the school systems in the latest SEF cohort plan to use OBC in agreements with outside companies to provide high-impact tutoring programs for significant numbers of students in literacy and math. Together, the six school systems in the new cohort enroll more than 200,000 students. They are:

  • Jackson Public Schools, Mississippi
  • Richmond Public Schools, Virginia
  • Uplift Education, a Texas-based Charter Management Organization
  • Santa Ana Unified School District, California
  • Colorado Springs District 11, Colorado
  • Albuquerque Public Schools, New Mexico

These school systems will only pay the full amount for the tutoring services if contractors meet specific goals for improving student achievement.

With SEF’s support, the first cohort of school districts began using OBC last year to provide students with virtual math tutoring: the Denver Public Schools in Colorado, Duval County in Florida, Ector County in West Texas, and Fulton County just outside Atlanta.

Leaders in the first cohort of school systems say the strategy is helping them attract higher-quality vendors, produce good results, and ultimately serve their students and communities better. Many of the leaders from the first cohort of school districts gathered in Atlanta last October to share lessons learned, consult with OBC experts and advisors, and plan next steps.

“OBC is helping many school systems invest their federal pandemic relief aid wisely by attracting outside vendors willing to guarantee their programs achieve meaningful results for students,” said Brittany Miller, the OBC project director for SEF, who previously oversaw outcomes-based contracting programs for the Denver Public Schools in Colorado.

Leaders from the newest cohort of school systems convened virtually for the first time on Jan. 18 and are meeting regularly to work on their OBC-related projects.

All of SEF’s OBC-related materials are open-sourced and available for use: the OBC Playbook, an OBC RFP template, a rate card pricing calculator, a continuous improvement guide, and a video showing people how to use the pricing calculator. SEF also provides a video for vendors to learn how to respond to OBC RFPs.

Support for the second cohort is provided by Accelerate, a nonprofit organization.

Contact SEF Communications for more information.



Contact SEF for more information about using OBC in your school system.

The five key steps for OBC:

  • Prepare a team of leaders to guide the project
  • Identify the students they want to support and the outcomes they want those students to achieve
  • Develop a pricing strategy for the outcomes identified
  • Create an RFP and subsequent contract
  • Drive continuous improvement, carefully tracking implementation and results with the selected vendor.