School Choice & Charters

Oklahoma School Districts May Accept Special Education Vouchers

By Christina A. Samuels — January 14, 2011 1 min read
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Back in October, I blogged about two districts in Oklahoma that were challenging the constitutionality of a state law that would provide private school vouchers to students with special education needs.

Now, according to an article in the Tulsa World, the districts might be relaxing their stance.

The Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Children with Disabilities is modeled after a similar program in Florida. There’s no set dollar amount that would be given to each student; instead, the amount of the scholarship would be either the private school’s one-year tuition or the per pupil amount of state aid that would normally be given to the school district where the student is enrolled, whichever is less.

Six districts banded together to say that the voucher represented an unconstitutional diversion of public funds to religious institutions. But now they say that the legislature could fix the problem by having the state department of education process the applications and handle the funds.

One superintendent, Keith Ballard of the Tulsa district, said he still believes the law is unconstitutional, but “we’re not doing anything unconstitutional if we’re taken out of this process.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.