From the massive ESSER allocations to your local budget, follow these strategies to improve your chances for a successful funding request
Now is the perfect time to request new federal and state funding to purchase IHT ZONE heart rate monitors before the current budget year expires.
Give yourself the best chance to access funding by following these tips from teachers and administrators who’ve purchased IHT ZONE monitors for their schools to use in physical education classes, Social-Emotional Learning programs, and STEM classrooms.
Health and PE advocates including Dr. Kymm Ballard recommends a proposal-building process that includes networking within your school district and linking your request to your district’s school improvement plan, especially when it comes to federal funding such as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding.
“That’s where a lot of money goes, and if you’re working with your school improvement team, you’re working on the bigger picture,” she said. “You’re part of the blueprint that is inevitably going to be funded. 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.”
When applying for a portion of your district’s federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds, know who to approach and have a presentation ready that explains all the benefits for both students and teachers. Especially in large school districts, it can be beneficial to identify the person or office that manages federal funding and begin networking with them.
“It is critical to build an individual relationship in the special programs or title funding departments,” Humble (Texas) ISD Coordinator of PE/Wellness Helen Wagner said. “Know who they are, introduce yourself, and explain your program. Some districts are big, and it means a lot to make that connection. They may not know who you are at first.”
Though the 2021-22 school year is winding down, there is still plenty of funding available. Some teachers hear that their district’s ESSER funding has already been spent, but that may just be the ESSER I funding that must be spent by Sept. 30, 2022.
Two more ESSER allocations –$180 billion shared by local education agencies – have future spend by dates. If your district tells you ESSER funding has already been allocated, ask about ESSER II or ESSER III allocations:
- ESSER II: $54.3 billion to be spent by Sept. 30, 2023
- ESSER III: $126 billion to be spent by Sept. 23, 2024
“When they tell you that the funds are already spent or already allocated, they might not be talking about all three rounds of ESSER,” Keri Schoeff, a funding specialist with the Arizona Department of Education, said. “ESSER III was a really big chunk of money so there may be some out there even if you are originally told it’s not.”
Though the federal dollar amounts each district received are likely to exceed the campus or departmental budget set forth by school districts, make sure you don’t ignore your specific budget – or that of other department heads who might have funds left over.
“I talk with other teacher leaders who control budgets that might be a little more robust than mine,” a PE department leader said. “And if they have funds they’re not going to need or if they’ve already taken care of all of their needs and still have, say, $1,000 left, well, that’s a lot of money for me…. I don’t recall the principal or the administration saying no when we’ve made this type of request. When teachers who control separate budget lines come to them and say ‘we’d like to do this,’ they are amenable. It just takes everyone working together.”
The teacher also recommends inviting administrators – campus principals or district funding officers -- to see how students benefit from heart rate monitors.
“These monitors are something that we really value, and when administrators come into the gym and see us using them, they like that,” he said. “The response from the administration and parents in the community and the students to this being part of our practice has been really good.”
IHT offers customers a range of support in the search for funding to complete a purchase. Ask how IHT can help you by clicking here to schedule a meeting with a team member.