Are there other options for school districts to consider in lieu of purchasing the assistive technology device?
Yes. There are times when the outright purchase of devices is not necessary or even advisable. In instances such as these, school districts might consider rental or long-term lease/purchase options. Device rentals or long-term lease/purchase options are not intended to be less costly than purchase. There are certain advantages worth considering depending on the individual needs of the student. For example, renting equipment might be a reasonable strategy if the child's condition is considered temporary; if the child's condition is expected to improve or deteriorate; or, when it is necessary to try-out the equipment before purchase for the student. Long-term leasing or lease/purchase agreements also have potential benefits for schools which include no obligation on behalf of the school to purchase the device; reduction of obsolete inventory; flexible leasing terms; use of equipment without a lump sum purchase; upgrading of equipment as more improved technology becomes available; and, upgrading of equipment as the student's needs change. Districts may not lease purchase from the General Fund, which means special education funding would not be used for that option; instead, districts would use their PPEL or SAVE funds for those lease purchases.