Part 2. Ask.
The Cares Act provides emergency funds for schools in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Every single state in the USA still has millions of dollars that are available to schools now. If they move quickly, Physical Education and health teachers in every state can ask for these funds for their programs. The main purpose is for teachers to purchase technology equipment, training, and support
The US government wants to quickly disperse these available funds to teachers in public and private K-12 and colleges. With just the simple act of “Ask”, you can be provided with this emergency funding to purchase new technology that will greatly enrich your school and school district’s learning environment. Though this is a grant from the government and a sub-grant to your local school boards or similar, this is not a grant to the teacher – this is an ask by the teachers.
To find out how much your state DOE, Department of Education, has available click here. For example, in Wisconsin, the state has spent 1.4% of their $174 million dollar sub-grant. These funds were distributed in September to your local educational agencies for immediate disbursement to you all.
Historically, the requirements to access federal government school funding was tedious, time-consuming, and with a low success rate. For many applying, it became discouraging and disappointing. This time it is different. For example, this week the Hanover School District in Virginia, led by Adam Otstot purchased 16 wearable technology tracking systems. This technology purchase included an iPad, devices, and school PE software application for every secondary PE teacher in the district. By asking, Adam received $160,000 for his teachers. According to Adam, “I was able to purchase several key items to support the program with CARES Act funds. I worked collaboratively with teachers in HCPS to determine what tools schools needed to be able to provide the most effective instruction and assessment in the current COVID-19 landscape.”
CARES Act funds will run out. You need to ask quickly. You might be asked “why” PE and health need technology and the answer varies depending on the person asking the question. For a superintendent asking, the answer should be presented as improving student safety. If asked by a building supervisor or principal, one of the answers to the question is that Physical Education departments affect larger portions of the student population than any other discipline at the school.
A warning about the competition for these funds is presented by Keri Schoeff, Arizona DOE in a recent interview with Stephanie Morris, Executive Director of SHAPE America that you can watch, “Don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for funding at your school or district level. Your schools and districts have this money available and other people are speaking up and asking for it.”
The ESSER funding is available to you if you ask. That is the key word- Ask. If you at first ask and there is a “No” response, then go around that individual because the funds are available to you if you ask. Go to your physical education and health chairperson. If they are unfamiliar with the ESSER fund of $30 billion, then next go to your school administration, then to your district finance department, then to a school board member, and don’t forget your building administrator or principal. Call them on the phone or forward them Part 1. Free and Quick Money for PE and Health Teachers of this series which is an overview of ESSER.
If I were to recommend a SHAPE state organization that took a national leadership position, it is the Missouri “Mo Shape”, communication team. Last week, that team led by Tom “Doc” Loughrey held an emergency Town Meeting for members to motivate and activate their teachers to ask for what they deserve. For the state of Missouri, available funds are $103 million. It is a great presentation on the ESSER funds and you are urged to watch the town meeting here: https://bit.ly/3gSsuZP
Ask. Act. Action is needed by you now because funds will dry up and PE and health deserve technology in their programs during the Covid-19 crisis. It is there for the asking. Are you?
Heart Zones is a company that provides smart measurement devices, physical education and health curriculums, and professional development workshops, seminars, and certifications. . For more information please visit: www.heartzones.com or email Staff@heartzones.com
- Shape America Blog on ESSER Emergency Funds June 2, 2020: https://blog.shapeamerica.org/2020/06/the-cares-act-a-federal-funding-opportunity-for-health-and-physical-education/
- Stephanie Morris, ED, SHAPE and Keri Schoeff, Arizona DOE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpTRB_DDoPs
- FAQ: https://oese.ed.gov/files/2020/05/ESSER-Fund-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf
- Heart Zones Part 1. Free and Quick Money for PE and Health Teachers: https://www.heartzones.com/the-cares-act-and-heart-zones-cares-part-1/
- Town Meeting December 11, 2020 – Missouri Shape: https://bit.ly/3gSsuZP
Heart Zones provides a measurement device, curriculum, and professional development that can be used by teachers to provide DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE physical education that is safe and supports the acquisition of motor, fitness, cognitive and personal social skills among students so that they may pursue healthy, active lifestyle. Visit: www.heartzones.com or email Staff@heartzones.com
To Learn More – Recommended Resources:
 The “Ask” Video between Stephanie Morris, ED, SHAPE and Keri Schoff, Arizona DOE Keri Schoeff
 Part 1. Free and Quick Money for PE and Health Teachers. https://www.heartzones.com/the-cares-act-and-heart-zones-cares-part-1/
 As of September 20, 2020 per the federal government’s website: https://covid-relief-data.ed.gov