Annual ESSA Title IV, Part A Allocation Delivers $1.5 Billion to School Districts to Focus on Student Health

A little summer homework could go a long way for teachers looking to add IHT ZONE heart rate technology to their programs in the coming school year.

Understanding the different types of federal funding your school district has received might help you successfully apply for a portion of that money to purchase technology such as the IHT ZONE heart rate monitor.

ESSAFor the 2023-24 school year, every district has two main sources of federal funding: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) funding and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Act funding. While similar in nature, there are several key components of each federal allocation.

Understanding ESSA

Delivered annually from the U.S. Department of Education to local school districts, ESSA accounts more than $1.5 billion that can be used different ways. For health and physical education teachers specifically, Title IV, Part A (the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant) remains the most meaningful component and biggest opportunity for funding. Programs are eligible for Title IV, Part A funding if they meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Provide all students with access to a well-rounded education
  2. Improve school conditions for student learning
  3. Improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy for all students.

Physical education advocates point out the significance of physical education’s inclusion in the 18 subjects that define a well-rounded education. Taken literally, schools must provide students with a quality PE program.

“This is the first time that health and PE have been singled out and specifically mentioned by federal law,” Arizona Department of Education Title IV-A Safe, Healthy and Active Students Specialist Keri Schoeff said. “Because a well-rounded education is a student’s civil right, if our schools are not providing health and PE, we are actually violating our students’ civil rights.”

Using Title IV, Part A Funding for PE Needs

PE class

Irving ISD students perform planks on stability balls while wearing IHT ZONE heart rate monitors.

For many states, that renewal has included an increase. For Title IV, Part A specifically, states will receive a combined $1.4 billion for the 2023-24 school year, up from $1.38 billion for the 2022-23 year. The funding must be used or allocated before Sept. 30, 2024.

The allocations, calculated on a price-per-student estimate, range from $6.6 million in states with lower populations to more than $120 million for the larger populations of New York, Texas and California.

PE teachers and department leaders have used Title IV, Part A funding to successfully purchase technology such as the IHT ZONE heart rate monitor to boost student engagement and wellness. The requests are seldom automatic and require the teacher to understand two key things:

  • That PE can request ESSA funding for programs, and
  • The proposal must align to both ESSA guidelines and school district priorities, of which student wellness (both physical and emotional) has become a priority as we move out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before making her first successful request for a portion of her district’s ESSA funding, Irving (Texas) Independent School District Health & PE Coordinator Sandi Cravens had to remind herself that she could request the funding.

“We are trained in physical education and health to believe that we don’t deserve (funding),” she said several years ago. “It’s not on purpose. That’s just the way it (has usually worked). So, we don’t ask for things and we assume, like I did, that we wouldn’t be eligible.”

Once she understood her department’s eligibility to use ESSA funding, she worked with her district leadership team to craft a proposal that delivered IHT ZONE heart rate monitors to all of the district’s middle school campuses. Focusing on student health made her proposal easy for leadership to approve.

“Health is the key foundation for what you will do in the rest of your life,” she said. “We just need to measure how a positive impact on a student’s health impacts the rest of the world at school: academics, attendance, etc.”

Requesting ESSA Funding from Your District

Administrators who successfully requested ESSA funding to purchase IHT ZONE monitors and IHT software for their programs shared some keys that helped them. Among them:

  • Reach out to the district decision-makers

“Let them know that you have ideas for how we can spend the money and talk to them about programs that impact the children,” Cravens said.

  • Research your district’s process to request federal funding

IHT heart rate monitors“Study your district’s system,” McAllen (Texas) ISD PE Coordinator Mario Reyna 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 it), the easier it will be.”

Reyna secured two rounds of ESSA funding from his district to add IHT technology to his programs.

  • Link your request to your district’s campus or overall student improvement plan.

“That’s where a lot of the money goes,” PE Advocate and SHAPE America Past President Dr. Kymm Ballard said. “If you’re working with your school improvement team, you’re working on the bigger picture. You’re part of the blueprint that is inevitably going to be funded.”

Ballard also suggested that summer – July and August particularly – can be the right time to build a request and submit it.

“I think April through August is a really good time to go in and ask for that money,” she said. “Those monies have to be spent by the end of September, and districts must spend it or turn it back in. So they are going to want to spend it out. That’s your opportunity.”

Boost Student Wellness with the IHT ZONE heart rate monitor:


    Email Address

    Contact Number + Optional Phone Extension

    Select Your State or Country


    Describe Your Interest (Please choose one)

    Get Started with a Quote

    Summer Break Provides Opportunity for Teachers to Prepare ESSA Funding Requests
    Article Name
    Summer Break Provides Opportunity for Teachers to Prepare ESSA Funding Requests
    Experts provide tips that helped them secure their district's ESSA funding to purchase IHT ZONE heart rate monitors.
    Publisher Name
    Interactive Health Technologies, LLC
    Publisher Logo