As you take in information pertaining to the Education Stabilization Fund, it seems to get more and more confusing. Between all of the federal funding available it can be hard to determine if the funding is meant for you or not. Let’s equip you with information to succeed and get you in touch with resources that can give you more information.
How to Prepare:
Ask Your Community
It is important to first determine the resources needed to run a successful program and classroom post-COVID. While you know what works best for your current classroom, we recommend reaching out to your students, their parents, and your coworkers. Ask them questions that will help you prepare a better case as you go on to admin, PTO, state representatives, and so on. Your coworkers may also be able to let you know how they are approaching asking for funding support. Also ask yourself some important questions and include those in your conversation/ letter.
Some examples would be:
- How can I help my students focus better in class?
- What products do you want to see in the classroom?
- How can I get my students to be more engaged?
- What tools can I use to get my students back on track?
- How can I make my classroom more comfortable?
Do Your Research
This should be one of your first steps in asking for federal funding. Come to meetings with admin and school officials with information you have collected. This could be information on the funding itself, allocations, first-hand accounts, letter templates, FAQ’s and so much more. This way meetings or conversations cannot be put on pause due to lack of information.
Need a quick overview of the recent federal funding? Get an overview here. If you would like more help with finding questions to prepare, check out this blog, “5 Tips to Secure Federal Funding for Your Active Classroom”
Who To Ask:
1. Superintendent & Principal
These two individuals are meant to be your greatest support system. They should also have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to approaching funding allocations within your school district. If you aren’t comfortable asking your coworkers how they are going about funding support, your Superintendent and Principal should be able to let you know how others have approached the topic. They should also be able to tell you spent funding totals, proper funding uses, and remaining funding. They should also be able to tell you if you need to apply straight to your state education agency or within your school itself.
2. Local Education Agency
A local education agency or LEA is typically called your board of education. This board has administrative control over public schools in a certain area. They are typically responsible for making policies and overseeing your district’s curriculum, personnel, facilities, and budget. This board is most likely being given all federal relief funding. They should be the most knowledgeable about the details of the status of your districts funding. The emails to all board members should be available to the public and you can find who to talk to based on title and district in their “contact us” tab.
3. State Education Agency
Your SEA should be your [State] Department of Education or the [State] Office of Public Instruction. Your state Superintendent should have direct contact information available to the public though the website footer or the “Contact Us” tab in the menu. This individual is there to serve your district so feel free to reach out with additional questions your Principal or Superintendent were not able to answer.
This is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal or financial advice. To verify if you can use one of the funding sources above for active classroom furniture, please consult a purchasing authority within your district who is familiar with applicable federal, district, state, and local laws, and policies.