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Tennessee announces $175M pilot program to help families

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has announced a $175 million pilot program intended to help needy families become self-sufficient.

The Tennessee Opportunity Pilot Initiative will provide $25 million to seven nonprofits across the state.

Over the next three years, the effectiveness of each pilot program will be evaluated by a third party. The state will then help the most successful programs scale up.

The money for the pilot comes from a $775 million surplus in state funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The large surplus came under scrutiny after it was flagged in 2019 in a report by a conservative think tank.