5 Amazing Funding Opportunities for CTE Health Science
Every career and technical education teacher runs into the same obstacle — they need funding.
You may know exactly where to go to get that funding. You may also have to find a new way to get it every year.
And if you’re a first-time CTE teacher, you might not even know where to start.
Fortunately, you have options!
Most importantly, you have five main avenues you can try to get funding for your CTE classroom.
But first, let's cover something you should keep in mind before you seek funding for CTE health science.
CTE Careers Are Growing — Fast
Before you learn them, keep something in mind — CTE graduates who focused on health science are eligible for a lot of career opportunities.
That means your career track has much more upward momentum than others in CTE.
In fact, careers related to CTE health science are expected to grow in the millions between 2016 and 2026, far outpacing other sectors of the economy.
That's one of the reasons why Jim Schultz, president of Applied Educational Systems, chose health science as one of the company's educational focuses.
After 32 years of experience in CTE, this is why Jim says health science should be a funding priority for every CTE program.
CTE health care is the future, and there's a need for eager young minds.
You're helping to meet that need — and that's why you need funding!
Here are the five sources you need to check to get it.
1. Your Administrators (When You Speak Their Language)
Talking to your admins can be scary.
They probably don’t have experience in your career cluster, they may have a “favorite” pathway, and you may not know anything about them other than the fact that they’re in administration.
Still, administrators are your best opportunity to get the funding you need for your classroom.
So how do you talk to them?
Kathy Regan, a health science instructor at a technical high school in Massachusetts, discovered the best way to talk to her admins was in proving the usefulness of a digital curriculum and talking about its cost.
“I went straight to my administration,” Kathy says. “I wrote up a plan and told them to come to a class. I wanted them to see what my students were doing. I wanted them to see the progress, the positivity, the success of this program.”
That was just the beginning, though. Kathy took her advocacy to the next level.
“[Administrators] aren’t always looking at the almighty dollar, but the school is a business,” Kathy says. “Do they realize they’re not buying textbooks with this resource? They’re not buying workbooks. They’re not buying this, they’re not buying that.”
Overall, Kathy proved to her admins that buying a single digital curriculum — HealthCenter21 — would be more cost-effective than shelling out for new textbooks and other materials.
Kathy got the resource she needed for the classroom, and the administrators got to show that they cut operating costs.
Everybody won in this scenario, which is a great sign since you can do it too!
All you have to do is prepare so you can get the funding to buy the resource you want.
- Be ready to show how your resource works
- Highlight the value of the resource
- Discuss how the resource saves money (or why it’s worth the extra expense)
If you can hit those three points, you’re sure to have a productive conversation with your administrators.
But your admins don’t have limitless funds either.
That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on federal Perkins funding.
2. Federal Perkins Funding News
Carl D. Perkins funding was established in 2006 to help career and technical education classrooms get the resources they need to teach.
Funding is supplied by the US federal government. Each year, total funding hovers around $1 billion with the opportunity for state and discretionary grants.
However, Perkins funding is subject to government regulation and changes.
That means if something needs to be cut, Perkins funding could be on the chopping block.
If that happens, then your admins won’t have the same budgets they usually have each year.
Then, you can’t get the cash you need for your teaching resources.
As a result, it’s crucial that every CTE teacher keeps an eye on Perkins funding news. It’s often a safe bet that Perkins funding will continue from year to year, but it’s not a safe bet that you’ll get a nice big budget every year.
The Department of Education slashed Perkins funding by $168,099,000 (15% of total) under Betsy DeVos in 2017.
Every state lost a minimum of 7.5%. Nevada got hit the worst with a 52.4% reduction.
If you want to know whether you’ll be considered for budgetary spending in the next school year, you have to keep an eye on Perkins funding.
Thankfully, the Department of Education has alternative routes you can follow to get funding for your CTE classroom.
3. Department of Education’s Pay for Success Program
The Department of Education’s Pay for Success program is a big funding umbrella that rewards evidence-based policy.
So if you wanted to use a classroom resource like a digital curriculum, you would set goals for your classroom, lay out a strategy to achieve those goals, and pursue those goals throughout a marking period.
Funds are distributed based on the viability and achievement of the goals you set.
But there’s a catch.
“Evidence-based” policy means you have to supply the evidence that something works before you get funding for it.
That may sound counter-intuitive. It’s based on the idea that taxpayer money won’t go to policies that don’t work or have no evidence showing that they work.
So the heart of Pay for Success is in the right place, even if its funding opportunities aren’t in the perfect sequence.
For CTE specifically, the Department of Education partnered with Social Finance Inc and Jobs for the Future to implement CTE education for underserved and high-need youth.
If your school falls into that category, you have the chance to earn extra funding at the end of your class by demonstrating that your teaching strategies work.
It takes time, tracking, and patience, but Pay for Success can be an excellent addition to the budget of your classroom.
Not all schools will qualify for this kind of funding, though.
So what can you do if Perkins, Pay for Success, and funding from your administration doesn’t work?
4. Other CTE Grants
Fortunately, CTE is a popular initiative in a lot of circles, especially when it comes to grants.
(Perkins funding is technically a grant, so we won’t cover that here since we already talked about it.)
Most grants are based on demographic information, including geography, ethnicity, and subject.
Others are based on communities, and some could apply to an ultra-general group of recipients like “high schools.”
Regardless, there’s a strong chance that you can find a grant that applies to your situation. The key is finding a resource that’ll point you in the right direction.
To kickstart your search, here are three of the more general grants:
- America’s Career Resource Network
- National Centers for Career and Technical Education
- Tech Prep Demonstration Program
You can also look up grants based on your state.
If you work in any of the other 49 states, you can find grants for your state too.
On the off-chance that you can’t find grants that apply to your school, don’t worry — there’s still one last shot you have to get funding for your CTE classroom.
5. Crowd Funding (PledgeCents)
Crowd funding is one of the hottest crazes today.
The idea is that it’s cheaper for a million people to contribute $1 to a project than for one person to pay $1,000,000.
Sometimes that project is creating a video game. Sometimes it’s paying off medical bills.
In this case, it’s getting funding for a classroom.
In fact, there’s a specific crowd funding network set up specifically for classroom funding. It’s called PledgeCents, and it’s the education version of Kickstarter.
You can set up an account on PledgeCents and fill out all the information in a matter of minutes.
Then, you get a link to share. That’ll take others to your page, where they can donate to your cause.
As you do this, take special care to stay compliant with PledgeCents’s rules. They’re designed to prevent fraud, and violations are taken very seriously.
Still, it’s easy to set up an account and get a page going for your classroom. Once you do, just share it on social media to generate some buzz (and donations).
(If you’d like to work with HealthCenter21 or Business&ITCenter21, you can check out AES on PledgeCents.)
Learn How to Get Funding for Your Health Science CTE Classroom
Do you teach health science courses?
Do you need help getting funding for your classroom?
We have a funding guide made specifically for you!
This free guide comes with six big pointers on how you can get funding for whatever you need in the classroom. If one strategy doesn’t work, try another!
Get your guide today!