Of the $500 million in special-education stimulus funds pledged to Illinois schools, just $136 million had been disbursed by mid-November as officials sift through funding requests. Schools in Springfield are waiting for about $4.3 million they hope will help fund the purchase of assistive-technology equipment and software for students with special needs. Although the deadline for spending the funds is September 2011, state officials have asked districts not to rush applications so they can be as detailed as possible in their special-education funding requests.

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