Part 4 — FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Emergency Dollars
The CARES Act is a stimulus-funded federal government emergency grant in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These dollars aim to be an immediate injection directly into your school’s purchasing office of money to address the current crisis. The ESSER portion of the CARES Act provides more than $30 billion to schools to prepare and respond to the impacts of Covid-19 including the purchase of technology solutions.
The following Q and A should help you navigate how to ask for these emergency dollars. You, the physical education and health instructor can use these emergency dollars for your programs now and in the future. Most schools have not yet used their financial allocation. So, this is a call-to-action for you to must simply “ask” for your fair share. Read more.
- #1 Question: Who do I ask for to get ESSER funding for me PE and health program?
Answer: Your purchasing department. The funds are there waiting for you to ask for them. No grant forms required. Simply ask.
- #2 Question: How do I apply for these emergency dollars?
Answer: Heart Zones recommends that you speak with your school and department supervisors to let them know your intention and to coordinate with them as a team player. Listen to learn more.
- #3 Question: Where did this emergency $30 billion come from?
Answer: Congress authorized the funding which was then immediately provided to the state DOE, Department of Education, based on a fair allocation formula. To get it quickly to each individual school, the state DOE allocated the funds immediately to your LEA, local education agencies — which means your school district authority probably your local school board. Money is sitting there waiting for you to ask for it.
- #4 Question: How much money can I ask for?
Answer: Ask for as much as you need and want. See
Part 3. Ask of this series which shares the story of one Virginia PE coordinator who regrets that she did not ask for more than the $160,000 she requested.
- #5 Question: Is there any money left in the CARES Act ESSER funds for me?
Answer: Yes. There’s money left in most schools checking account for you to ask. It is one of your responsibilities is to simply ask. Your request for these dollars needs to be for technology because that is what the requirements of ESSER funding and not for playground equipment. Rather, this emergency funding is for you to purchase online physical education solutions that you can use now and after the pandemic.
- #6 Question: When do I need to ask? Is there a funding deadline?
Answer: Yes, September of 2021 all the funds must be used or returned to the federal government which are then re-allocated if not used by your state DOE.
- #7 Question: Are charter schools, K-12 public and private, and college and universities eligible for ESSER Funds.
Answer: Yes. All schools in the USA are eligible. The local school agency is required to provide equitable services in non-public schools under the CARES Act Programs. Watch DOE Arizona’s Kerri Schoff explain more.
As a quick suggestion, when meeting with your building supervisor or purchasing office there are two primary points to make: (1) explain that by providing your program with much-needed solutions for online education, you affect almost every student in the school and (2) this technology purchase provides for student safety and accountability.
Remember that the ESSER funds are focused as a stimulus for your programs. The primary purpose, the overarching goal is to buoy the depressed school budgets through a near-immediate injection of funds spent on schools. This is not a grant as you may have experienced before but a direct stimulus to your PE and health program. Ask for your share of these dollars today.
Heart Zones provides technology, professional development, and curriculum materials developed, designed, and managed for schools by physical education and health teachers and coaches. Visit or reach out to Heart Zones: https://www.heartzones.com or email Staff@heartzones.com
To Learn More – Recommended Resources:
Heart Zones Cares and the CARES Act, a 6 Part Series:
Part 1. Free and Quick Money for PE and Health Teachers:
Part 2. ASK – Ask your Principal, your Facility Supervisor, your Purchasing Department
Part 3. The Story: How did a District Use CARES Act Money to Purchase Physical Education Technology?