Simple Tips for Getting Your Superintendent On Board!

Need to get your Superintendent on board with PE funding?
Superintendent, Tim Collins, shares his tips and suggestions for gaining support below!

Welcome Aboard Sign - SuperintendentThere are several key factors that will force a Superintendent to consider additional PE funding or helping to fund a program or initiative.  There are many small factors that help influence and foster the potential for financial support or adjustments and flexibility to make sure that the program has the potential for growth:

  • Data driven research.
  • Matching funds from a booster program.
  • Donated community labor.
  • A commitment to work ethic that goes above and beyond normal.
  • Assistance from Special Ed Programming.
  • The ability to sustain the program long term.

There is no single factor that weighs more heavily than the other.  The need and growth of programs is dependent upon a variety of variables, so it is impossible to state that one of the above factors is more important than the other.

If a program needs financial support, for personnel or capital needs, then there is no question that matching funds, or a financial contribution from an outside source, is a major factor in helping to influence a Superintendent.  A Superintendent understands the political ramifications of saying, “No thank you” to a business, booster club, or individual who wants to contribute financially to a school program.  In our personal lives, we would all work hard to find a hundred dollars, if we knew that our Mom or Dad was going to give us a hundred dollar match.  This reality is true for a Superintendent as well.

There are many small business owners, in every community, that have the potential to donate in-kind labor to a variety of school district programs and projects. 

  • Can a superintendent say no, if the Basketball Boosters volunteer to do the cement work, and erect basketball hoops, on every elementary playground in the district?  The district’s obligation is to pay for the hoops and the cement.
  • Can a superintendent say no if the Softball Association will level all infields and build dugouts on every field in the district?  The district’s obligation is to purchase the materials.
  • Can a superintendent say no if the Tennis Boosters are willing to pay for two extra tennis courts at the time the district is reinvesting in their tennis courts?  In return the district has to allow the association to have practice and summer tournaments on the district’s courts.

There is no question that the school district needs to make sure that the donated labor is skilled labor and has certified insurance.  The district needs to protect for current and future liability.  This level of donated labor, on these specific projects, allows the district to then spend their fund balance on other projects district wide.

The power of receiving cash contributions or in-kind labor is contagious and repetitive.  When other businesses see the power of their colleagues’ contributions, they ask what they can do.  Typically, individuals who donate their time or money once, will typically do it again down the road. 

If you need support from your Superintendent, make sure you are able to have one or more of the key factors outlined in this writing. 

Tim is the Superintendent of the Hastings School District in Minnesota.

Tim is the Superintendent of the Hastings School District in Minnesota.

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