At the end of each school year, IHT encourages teachers looking to purchase heart rate monitors or software to manage fitness assessments to make a final push to use their available funding.

Most years, this reminder focuses on the district-level funding such as a teacher’s direct budget, their department’s budget or other local funding such as a campus technology fund or administrator’s discretionary funds. This year, the reminder will include federal funding that each district has received: ESSER III.

ESSERThe most recent U.S. Department of Education data shows that as of Jan. 31, nearly 40% of the $119 Billion given to local districts through their state education agencies as part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief effort remains unspent.

All ESSER III funding must be allocated for use by local school districts before Sept. 30, 2024. As of Jan. 31, more than $46 Billion remained unspent or unallocated. The data shows that 27 states still have at least $500 million to spend, and of those 27 states, 14 have more than $1 Billion that must be spent, including:

  • California: $6.4 Billion
  • New York: $4.2 Billion
  • Texas: $3.6 Billion
  • Florida: $2.4 Billion
  • Pennsylvania: $2.0 Billion

Certainly, nearly all that money will be spent. Schools were able to spend 99.7% of the $12.9 Billion in ESSER I and 98.7% of the $52.3 Billion in ESSER II. Still, though, those small percentages represent significant funding opportunities that weren’t taken: more than $700 Million (to date, as reporting on ESSER II spending continues to trickle in) has gone unspent, something education funding experts call unacceptable.

“Schools have been given this money and they should find ways to spend it to make sure kids have what they need,” Arizona Department of Education Title IV-A Safe, Healthy & Active Students Specialist Keri Schoeff said.

You can help your administrators make sure their ESSER III funding, along with the rest of the annual budget amounts, gets spent. Following these steps have led to success for other teachers.

  1. Know how the funding that you’re seeking can be used
  2. Work with colleagues and administrators when requesting local budget funds
  3. For federal funding such as ESSER or ESSA, network with your district’s federal funding manager
  4. Work with your IHT representative so your proposal includes key benefits for students and teachers

Know Your Funding Source

ESSERWhether you’re seeking local budget money or funding through a grant, it’s important to know how those funds can be spent. With the annual Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) funds and the COVID-19 relief funding provided through ESSER, there are specific guidelines that must be met for requests to be funded.

“You have to know the language,” McAllen (Texas) Independent School District Coordinator for Health and Physical Education Mario Reyna said. Reyna won several ESSA grants from his district to add IHT ZONE heart rate monitors to his district’s middle schools.

Specific to ESSA and ESSER funds, items purchased must support:

  • A well-rounded education
  • Safe and healthy schools
  • Effective use of technology

Reyna also recommends teachers understand their district’s system to request funding.

“Study your district’s system,” he said. “Each district’s system to request funding is different, so you need to understand it and get yourself in there. The more you educate yourself about ESSA (and your district’s process), the easier it will be.”

Work with Colleagues and Administrators

Along with knowing how different funds can be spent, it pays to know the people who will be reviewing – and hopefully approving – your proposal. Reyna met with his funding coordinator and kept her up to date on what his purchases were doing for student wellness to the point that she eventually started letting him know when funds were available.

“I am always ready with a proposal if they say they have ESSA money left over,” Reyna said. “(My funding coordinator) sent me an email that there was $20,000 left over and what could I do with it? Right away, I sent her a proposal. Perhaps she’s sending that same email to other departments, but I don’t want to miss out on it, so I am going to be ready to request money when given the opportunity.”

One of the most effective ways to improve your proposal’s chances for funding is to make sure it aligns to the district’s stated goals and published campus improvement plan, said nationally-recognized PE leader and SHAPE America Past President Dr. Kymm Ballard.

“That’s where a lot of money goes,” Ballard said. “If you’re working with your school improvement team, you’re working on the bigger picture. If you can make your case on that kind of team that health and PE needs to be a priority, you may not get the first round of dollars, but you’ll be able to get some of those dollars.”

Work with IHT Representatives to Build a Complete Proposal

If you’re considering purchasing IHT ZONE monitors or IHT Assessments software, be sure to rely on your IHT representative as a resource. We maintain a library of proposals that customers have used successfully and can tailor those to your needs. It’s also important to include the full quote for what you’re wanting to buy in the proposal so the funding coordinator has the complete request.

Contact IHT To learn more about its available funding resources.

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    Latest ESSER Update Reveals More Than $46 Billion Remains Available to Schools
    Article Name
    Latest ESSER Update Reveals More Than $46 Billion Remains Available to Schools
    With ESSER III's Sept. 30 deadline approaching, states still have more than $46 Billion that hasn't been allocated or spent yet.
    Publisher Name
    Interactive Health Technologies, LLC
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