While many school districts are using an influx of special education funds from the stimulus bill to plug budget gaps, some are working to ensure the money has a longer lasting impression.

In Ohio, districts are buying everything from talking word processors to playground equipment that can be used by students relying on wheelchairs to accessible school buses and timers that can help students with disabilities manage the time in their day.

The move toward assistive technology spending is being urged by national groups like the Minnesota-based PACER center. Since stimulus funding comes with an expiration date, the idea is to allocate money to areas with a direct benefit to students that also won’t disappear when the funds dry up.

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Nonetheless, for many districts, reality is taking precedence. With budget shortfalls commonplace these days many administrators say everyday expenses are trumping desires for new technology, reports the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. To read more click here.