HOW TO GET FINANCIAL HELP to take a Modeling Workshop

 (10/2019 by Jane Jackson, AMTA volunteer since the AMTA began. )


1)  Ask your school district to pay with Federal Title II-A Funds. A Modeling Workshop can be an excellent investment for your school because you can become a valuable resource for teaching science effectively with technology!


FACT: Every school district and charter school in the USA is eligible to get yearly Federal Title II funds, primarily for teacher professional development. These funds must be shared with private schools within the school district boundaries.


FACT: Federal TITLE II regulations in the ESSA (EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT) are that a local educational agency (LEA; i.e., a school district or charter school) shall meaningfully consult with TEACHERS  to develop its yearly Consolidated Application to the State Department of Education. (For example, the yearly deadline in Arizona  is May 1.)


ACTIONS (suggested by staff at the Arizona Department of Education):  

a) At the beginning of the school year, get allies: talk with your principal and your science coordinator/professional development coordinator.


b) Find out who your district's Title II coordinator is. (Look on your school district website for Federal Programs Officer, Grants & Federal Projects Director,  or Title Programs Coordinator...)


c) Collectively, a group of two or more science teachers in your school e-mail or call your district Title II coordinator. Say, “We science teachers want to be part of the ESSA yearly application process.” With your allies (see above), ask him/her to reserve a specific dollar amount of funds for Modeling Workshops next summer: to build capacity of your science teachers to be effective, and/or to qualify to teach Dual Enrollment. Say that Modeling Workshops are high-quality, personalized professional development that is evidence-based and focused on improving teaching & student learning and achievement. (Evidence: AMTA website: and ASU modeling legacy website: .)


d) If you didn’t get involved in planning this year’s use of Title II funds, ask your principal to intercede for you and request Title II funds from your district Federal Programs Director. Be courteous; if Modeling Workshops are NOT in your district’s yearly plan, then you can be denied them – in which case, get involved in deciding the top 3 priorities for next year’s district Title II funds.  (If you are denied Title II funds, ask your principal if he has another source.)


More facts:

*   The school district has 27 months to use the funds. If unused, they go back to the Feds.

*   Funds are determined 80% by poverty, 20% by population.

*   School districts can amend their yearly application, even if the deadline is passed. 

*   I quote the AZ Dept. of Education (2019): “Title II funds can be used to pay for dorm housing, travel expenses, and per diem.  These expenditures must be included in the School District Integrated Action Plan (IAP) as an Action Step.  These expenditures must also be coded to 6500-2100 in the School District Title II budget.” (Funds can pay registration or tuition, too.)


As evidence that teachers MUST be involved in developing your school district's yearly application to your state Dept. of Ed, for Title II funds, read the ESSA legislation, Title II excerpts, at


To educate us, in summer 2016 Steve Larson, the AZ Dept. of Education Director of the Federal TItle II program, gave a talk to 60 physics and chemistry teachers who were at ASU. I posted his Powerpoint and my notes at  the ASU modeling legacy website:  Scroll down to the bottom of the page, in the section called <Arizona Community>.


2) Rural teachers: ask your principal NOW to reserve Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) funds. Ref.


3) Apply to your  local parent club / booster club. A science teacher wrote, “The school parent club is usually more than willing to give teachers money -- the teachers just need to apply for it. In the past I have had to first apply for the money, then at the monthly parent club meeting give a little 5-minute presentation on what the money would be used for.” Adapt this letter for parents:


4) Can you apply to your school district foundation?  What are their focuses and timelines?


5) Ask your local service organizations. Colleen Megowan had great success at this, when she taught 9th grade physics.  She wrote, “contact your local chapter of Rotary, Lions, Elks, or Soroptimist International (or other community service organizations) and ask to speak at an upcoming weekly lunch meeting. They need a speaker every week. You might be surprised at how glad they are to have a competent speaker volunteer to be on the program.”  Download a 2-page “how-to” at


6) Apply for a grant. Few exist, unfortunately. The NSTA website has a list.  Visit the NEA, AACT (Hach grants), and websites. 


7) HOST a Modeling Workshop at your school; and apply for a grant from local utilities, tech companies, and foundations, to pay for 2 Modeling Workshop leaders. Contact Wendy Hehemann for advice. Download sample proposals for up to $30,000 at:  (Independent schools can apply for $25,000 or more from the Edward E. Ford Foundation )


Sample grant proposals for individual teachers, and more resources, are at  in the section called <Grants for Instructional Technology, Improved Instruction, Modeling Workshops>.


Arizona-specific funding resources are at  Scroll down to the bottom of the page, in the section called <Arizona Community>.