ED to Support Financial Education Initiative at FDIC
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has requested the assistance of the U.S. Department of Education in disseminating information about and requesting schools’ participation in one of its financial education initiatives. The FDIC is developing a study to assess how a financial education curriculum—Money Smart for Young Adults—influences the ways that students who have used this curriculum manage their finances. The FDIC is seeking partnerships with schools that plan to use the curriculum with high school students during fall 2012. Participating schools will describe their use of the curriculum and will assess students through pre- and post-training surveys. The FDIC will then use the results to measure the students’ financial knowledge and behavior. Participating schools will receive a stipend for their assistance in FDIC’s research efforts. The results of the study will be used to inform potential changes to the curriculum and will be disseminated to the financial education community nationwide.
Money Smart for Young Adults is designed to help young people learn the basics of managing their finances, including how to develop positive relationships with financial institutions. The curriculum, aligned with education standards in all 50 states, is composed of eight instructor-led modules, each of which includes an instructor guide, student guide, overhead slides, and a computer-based, decision-making scenario. It is available free of charge. Schools interested in participating in this research initiative or that want more information about the study are invited to call 800–287–1581, to e-mail email@example.com, or to submit their information online at http://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/study.html.
Administration for Children and Families Seeks Comments on Proposed Information Collection
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a follow-up data collection activity as part of the Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) demonstration and evaluation. This activity, which focuses on collecting data elements one year after program enrollment, will document the experiences of program participants; examine differences in service receipt and educational experiences between program and control group members; describe the intervention as it was implemented at each site; assess the extent to which it was implemented as intended; and assess the implications for intervention scalability and sustainability. Comments are due to the ACF, by Sept. 18.
The ISIS project will test a range of promising career pathways strategies to promote education, employment and self-sufficiency. Key project goals include increasing empirical knowledge about the effectiveness of programs for low-income individuals and families, as well as producing useful findings for both policymakers and program administrators. Please refer to the Federal Register notice for more information, including requested comment areas and submission instructions.
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HHS Announces Plans for TANF Flexibility
Recently the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance announced that U.S. Secretary Of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius was “interested in using her authority to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.” Secretary Sebelius has authority under the Social Security Act to grant states waivers of certain provisions of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) statute in order to assess new approaches to meeting the goals of TANF. The letter announcing the possibility of waivers emphasized the requirement that proposed TANF Waiver demonstration projects must include “a high quality evaluation plan, which is critical to ensuring that the pilots result in rigorous evidence about what works and what doesn’t in order to inform future decisions made by policymakers…” A companion memorandum, also issued by the Office of Family Assistance, provided examples of projects, including coordination with programs operated under the Workforce Investment Act; collaborations testing multi-year career pathways models for TANF recipients that combine learning and work; and projects that extend the time when vocational education training counts toward participation rates.