Support Effective Social Programs


Target: John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Goal: Increase federal funding to only evidence-based social intervention programs

Common sense would have it that funding should go only to programs that are proven to work. Yet, rigorous evaluation of programs, as measured by scientifically designed evaluation, often fails to take place. Meanwhile, funds continue to go to social interventions that may or may not bring a lasting positive impact to the communities they are meant for. This issue becomes more pressing when considering recent efforts by Republicans to cut federal funds for evidence-based programs. Ensure that these programs continue to receive the funding they need and deserve.

Evaluation of programs is especially important considering that even well-known programs have been found to have low effectiveness. In fact, around 75 percent of programs or practices that are intended to help people do better at school or at work have little or no effect, all in spite of decades of efforts and trillions of dollars in spending. In light of this, the Obama administration’s initiative to fund only evidence-based programs, building on Bush administration efforts, is truly making history.

The continuance of funding to evidence-programs is necessary to expand successful interventions, so they can serve more communities. Conversely, programs found to be ineffective should be dropped or improved. By signing the petition below, you can raise your voice to ensure that federal funds go to the social interventions that truly make a difference in the lives of people they are meant to help.


Dear Mr. Boehner,

I am writing to bring you attention to the recent Republican-led movement to cut federal funds going to evidence-based social intervention programs. Though the greatest benefit comes from doing rigorous program evaluations, such quality control does not always come consistently, even for well-known and well-regarded programs like Head Start and the substance abuse prevention program D.A.R.E.

I urge you to consider the consequences should efforts to cut evidence-based programs succeed. Ultimately, failure to fund evidence-based programs does an injustice to the communities and individuals who need these services. Please use your leadership to improve the quality of social interventions and maximize the power of federal funds to have a positive impact across the nation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Terah L. Harnes via Wikimedia Commons

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75 Signatures

  • Jill Ballard
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Alice Rim
  • Holly Hall
  • Mal Gaff
  • Kqy Martin
  • Melanie waleski
  • Hermann Kastner
  • Ricki Newman
  • Nancy Petersen
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