Teachers Wanting to Purchase Heart Rate Monitors Should Work with District Leadership to Apply for ESSER, Other Available Federal Funding

Educators looking for ways to fund their next IHT ZONE purchase should apply for a portion of their district’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Recovery (ESSER) Act allocations. 

The U.S. Department of Education, in three allocations, delivered more than $180 Billion to local schools. Schools can use the money for a variety of purposes as they work to overcome the pandemic’s impact. Many schools are choosing to use their funding to address student health – both emotional and physical. Much of that money remains available.

For physical education teachers and administrators, securing funding to purchase tools they deem essential – including heart rate monitors such as the IHT ZONE – has been historically challenging. ESSER offers these educators an opportunity to obtain funding designed specifically for their purpose.

Arizona Department of Education specialist Keri Schoeff keeps a close eye on both Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and ESSER funding that could impact student health in general and physical education specifically.

“Federal funds can 100% support fitness tracking devices and technology in health and physical education,” she said. “These are things we want to be teaching our students. We want our students to be fit individually and devices (like the IHT ZONE) do a great job of helping kids really individualize and personalize learning. If you think about ‘how can I get my students healthy?’, that’s right where we live.”

Schoeff specializes in ESSA funding, and Title IV, Part A specifically. Title IV, Part A includes funding for projects that focus on: 

  • safe and healthy schools, 
  • the effective use of technology and 
  • a well-rounded education. 

Understanding ESSER

Projects that qualify for ESSA funding also qualify for ESSER funding. The biggest difference between the two federal grant programs is that ESSA renews while ESSER - unless extended by the government - will expire. 

Enacted in 2016-17, ESSA now distributes $1.2 Billion annually to local school districts. Unless the government approves another round of ESSER funding, schools must use the funding they’ve received by Sept. 30, 2024. ESSER’s three rounds of funding include(d):

  • ESSER I: $12.9 Billion that expired on Sept. 30, 2022
  • ESSER II: $53 Billion that will expire on Sept. 30, 2023
  • ESSER III: $119 Billion that will expire on Sept. 30, 2024

Any unallocated money at each deadline must be returned to the federal government. Federal reporting shows that states spent 99.6% of the ESSER I allocation. As the next deadlines approach, plenty of opportunity remains for schools to address student wellness.

“Schools have been given this money and they should find ways to spend it to make sure kids have what they need,” Schoeff said. “If you are looking at how you are going to fund a program (that brings technology like this) for your program, ESSER II and ESSER III need to be your first ask.”

States, as of April 30, have spent or allocated 77% - $40.7 Billion – of their ESSER II allocations. The states with the most remaining ESSER II funding include:

  • California: $5.6 Billion
  • Texas: $4.0 Billion
  • New York: $2.4 Billion
  • Florida: $2.4 Billion
  • Illinois: $1.9 Billion
  • Ohio: $1.9 Billion 
  • Pennsylvania: $1.9 Billion
  • Georgia: $1.8 Billion
  • North Carolina: $1.6 Billion
  • Michigan: $1.2 Billion

With its Sept. 30, 2024, deadline, more of the much larger ESSER III funding remains. As of April 30, states had spent just 37% of the $119 Billion and have more than a year to put the rest toward viable programs. Six states have more than $3 Billion to spend, and only 3 states (Washington, Iowa and Arkansas) have spent more than half of their ESSER III funding. 

With the larger amounts and later deadline, Schoeff often advises teachers to start with ESSER III when making a request for federal funding.

“Some of that may still be unallocated and there for you to seek," Schoeff said.

Asking for Your District’s Federal Funding

If your plan includes IHT’s heart rate solution - either the IHT ZONE monitor or the IHT Assessments software - our team can work with you to build the best proposal to submit to your administration. 

To connect with an IHT team member to work on your proposal, please click here.

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    Latest Data Shows That Many Local School Districts Have Unallocated ESSER Funding That Must Be Spent
    Article Name
    Latest Data Shows That Many Local School Districts Have Unallocated ESSER Funding That Must Be Spent
    Many school districts still have significant amounts of ESSER III funding that must be spent by Sept. 30, 2024.
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    Interactive Health Technologies, LLC
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