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Social-Impact Bonds Could Fund Early Head Start, Says Manhattan Boro Prez

The bonds are loan made by investors, who can return a small profit if the project succeeds.

Manhattan’s borough president plans to propose on Tuesday that New York City explore the use of social-impact bonds to expand access to Early Head Start, a program that helps pregnant mothers and families of children younger than 3, according to the New York Times.

The bonds, also called pay-for-success bonds, are actually loans made by investors to pay for a program, and typically require a government to pay the investors a return on their principal only if a program meets certain goals.

Stringer, a likely mayoral candidate, said that he was inspired by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to allow Goldman Sachs to invest nearly $10 million in a jail program on Rikers Island, and make a small profit if recidivism rates are reduced.

According to the Times, Stringer said that his proposal would not cost taxpayers anything.

“We are fooling ourselves if we think the same old approach to funding education will get us to where we want to be,” Stringer said during a speech to the New York City Bar Association, according to the Times.

Bill de Blasio, public advocate and also likely mayoral candidate, proposed raising taxes on New York’s richest to pay for more prekindergarten classes and after-school activities for students in Grades 6 to 8.

Early-education experts said a program like the one Stringer is proposing would likely require an investment from between $5 million to $25 million. Critics charge that monetary incentives could alter the program, and that the public sector would cater too much to potential investors.

Momma Knows October 16, 2012 at 08:52 PM
I commend the Borough President for his compassion for children, but this is more of the same borrowing from Peter to pay Paul thinking that is taking this entire country down the rabbit hole. Just say no - Mr. Borough President and let us find ways of cutting the budget for all the consultants and other leeches at the public trough and then we will have money for the things we need like PUBLIC education and PUBLIC hospitals. We need real pension reform, an end to double dipping and then maybe we will leave the next generation with a few pennies they can use without paying a 75% tax rate like they have proposed in France!

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