Find Funds for Needed Resources How can educational audiologists or school-based speech-language pathologists match the right funding sources to their needs? School Matters
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School Matters  |   January 01, 2017
Find Funds for Needed Resources
Author Notes
  • Shannon Hall-Mills, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor in the School of Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University and a former member of ASHA’s School Finance Committee. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 1, Language Learning and Education, and 16, School-Based Issues. shall.mills@gmail.com
    Shannon Hall-Mills, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an assistant professor in the School of Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University and a former member of ASHA’s School Finance Committee. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 1, Language Learning and Education, and 16, School-Based Issues. shall.mills@gmail.com×
  • Jennie Price, MS, CCC-SLP, is a clinician for the InterMountain Education Service District in Pendleton, Oregon, and a member of ASHA’s School Finance Committee. nocashroad@gmail.com
    Jennie Price, MS, CCC-SLP, is a clinician for the InterMountain Education Service District in Pendleton, Oregon, and a member of ASHA’s School Finance Committee. nocashroad@gmail.com×
  • Janet Deppe, MS, CCC-SLP, is director of ASHA state advocacy and ex-officio to ASHA’s School Finance Committee. jdeppe@asha.org
    Janet Deppe, MS, CCC-SLP, is director of ASHA state advocacy and ex-officio to ASHA’s School Finance Committee. jdeppe@asha.org×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / School Matters
School Matters   |   January 01, 2017
Find Funds for Needed Resources
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 38-39. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM.22012017.38
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 38-39. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM.22012017.38
Educational audiologists and school-based speech-language pathologists report a lack of materials, assessment tools and technology as one of their biggest professional challenges. Federal, state and local funding don’t always cover these items so, as audiologists and SLPs in schools, you need to find other sources of funding to best serve your students.
First decide why you need funding. What part of your work goes unfulfilled due to a lack of funding? Do you know colleagues who succeeded in finding a funding match for something they needed?
At this stage of the process, stay focused on what you need and how your services to students are enhanced by this item or items. Don’t talk yourself out of whatever you think will help you do your job better before you even begin seeking a potential funding source. Sit down and outline specifically what you need and why it will improve your services. Start by completing the following sentences:
With (resource), my students could (verb).
With (resource), I could (verb).
After you identify the purpose of your search for the perfect funding match, explore the variety of sources available to support your work. Consider where you should look, who you can ask and how to ask.

Sit down and outline specifically what funding you need and why it will improve your services.

Match the funding source to your need. First, research local resources. Many community organizations offer funding to educators or schools. Network with colleagues for ideas of possible options such as grocery stores, local businesses, your school’s parent-teacher association and school system grant programs. Some funding sources support only certain types of activities, products, purposes or people—including types of students. For example, federal Title I funds are usually reserved to support programs, services and related materials for students who attend schools with a specific socioeconomic classification. Knowing your school’s Title I status can help rule this possible source in or out as a potential match to your need.
Picture a funding match. Visualize how you will progress from identifying a good funding match to realizing a fruitful connection. You can accomplish this by listing your ultimate goals of a successful match. Write down exactly how this particular funding source can assist your work with children.
Understand current economic climates. Before you approach people at the helm of these possible funding sources, investigate the current economic climate in the schools. The funder will appreciate your ability to explain your needs, especially the growing predicament of shrinking financial resources despite expanding service provision. Review and offer data about the nation’s rising student enrollment rates across all grades. Part of this rise in enrollment reflects a trend of more economically disadvantaged students than ever before enrolling in public schools. Link this information with data showing an uptick in the numbers of children living in poverty.
Read up on how education dollars are disseminated. The U.S. Department of Education provides information about federal funding outlays, including discretionary funding, but state and local governments also contribute funds to special education programs. Look at the fiscal year 2015–2016 IDEA grants to states (pages 18–20) for a general idea of how much the Department of Education allocates to states in discretionary funding.

How did your colleagues find funding for items? Are they willing to share their applications with you? You can find some of the greatest financial support resources right around you.

Tap helpful resources. ASHA provides several resources to support your efforts to secure funding. The School Funding Advocacy Tools page offers, for example, a funding primer, grant application tips, success stories and a listing of funding sources. Outside ASHA, explore the National School Foundation Association, Foundation Directory Online, DonorsChoose and Edutopia for additional ways to locate your funding match.
Additionally, your own colleagues can usually guide you toward funding matches. Take a look around your school for what’s new: smart boards, Promethean boards, printers and copiers, new physical education equipment, classroom materials, and technology (including iPads and electronic notebooks). How did they find funding for these items? Are they willing to share their applications with you? You can find some of the greatest financial support resources right around you.
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January 2017
Volume 22, Issue 1