The changing landscape in special education has had a positive impact in the classroom. Students now have access to a variety of technology, tools and programs that help them learn and excel at their own pace. These advancements have surely earned themselves a place in the special education classroom, but unfortunately, top technology and programs come at a cost that can sometimes be difficult to meet. Fortunately, there are many funding options that can help teachers, schools and districts jump those financial hurdles to get the materials they need. Learn more about these options below.
How to Fill Funding Gaps in Your Budget
The tools, methods and training that lend themselves to teaching and learning improvement are critical to all students, including individuals with special learning needs. Regardless of setting, whether general classroom or special education classroom, the same tools help every student achieve their goals. The stress placed on the importance of such improvements and finding room in the budget to acquire them can prove to be a challenging task for those seeking funding.
Seek out grants to help fund your programs
Grants are available from a variety of sources, including federal and state government agencies, charitable organizations and corporations. Be specific in defining the focus of your grant and organize a broad coalition of teachers, administrators and parents to assist you. Take your time writing the grant and study other successful grant applications to help you get it right. Read our white paper, Grant-Seeking Advice for Proactive Educators, for more information about applying for grants.
Look into crowdfunding
This strategy enables a large number of people to contribute small amounts of money toward your cause. A popular crowdfunding service, GoFundMe, provides the most appropriate platform to raise funds for education and is used for classroom initiatives around the world. Learn everything you need to know about launching a crowdfunding campaign in our step-by-step Field Guide. Be sure to check with your school or district on their policy to create and manage crowdfunding.
Work with your school district administration
Check with your administration to see if there are funds available for textbooks. n2y’s products can be purchased in lieu of textbooks for a special education curriculum. You can also make a presentation to your board of education, outlining the program you want to purchase and the benefit it will bring to your special education classroom.
Reach out to your school’s PTO
Find out if they can help purchase the materials you need. Many Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO) have teacher-grant programs that provide funds to help fill gaps for supplies and technology in their schools. If they don’t have a grant program, they may have some unused funds available, or be willing to help with fundraising.
Contact local service clubs and organizations
Many groups such as Rotary, Kiwanis Club and Knights of Columbus often have charters that guide and prioritize support for special initiatives including students with disabilities. Some of these local organizations may be willing to undertake or organize fundraising activities and opportunities to help fund the tools, methods or training to help meet your goals.
Since it is so important to ensure you have the appropriate learning materials for yourself and your students, it is equally as important to know and utilize effective funding strategies to acquire those materials. Use the ideas and opportunities above to help you achieve the vision you have for your classroom, your students and your school year. Reaching your funding goals means much more than dollars: it means opportunities to experience and achieve.