Tulsa Public Schools To Comply With Special Needs Funding Bill

Monday, October 18th 2010, 8:04 am
By: News On 6


TULSA, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma's largest school district decided not to defy a new law Monday.

Tulsa Public Schools voted to approve half a dozen special needs scholarships. But it's not a complete victory for parents of special needs students.

10/14/2010 Related Story: Tulsa County Schools Under Fire For Ignoring New State Law

The new law gives scholarships to under-served special needs students to allow them to attend private schools at the expanse of their public districts.

The Tulsa School Board voted to follow House Bill 3393 for now.

Critics say the new law is unconstitutional, and five school districts decided to ignore the law.

After a week's worth of impassioned pleas from the parents of special needs children, Tulsa's school board decided to approve the six scholarship requests its received so far.

But the district is suspending any future applications until the courts make a ruling.

The controversy over the new law has parents inside and outside of TPS frustrated.

"I'm trying every avenue that I can as a parent, but still I am getting very frustrated because I feel like it's going to take us digging into our pockets to fight for what is law and for our kids," said Broken Arrow parent Nancy Kimery.

It's not clear what impact that TPS's decision will have on other school districts that have already come out against the law.

Bixby Public Schools, Broken Arrow Public Schools and Union Public Schools voted not to honor the law.

Sand Springs Public Schools, and Sapulpa Public Schools are also considering whether or not to follow House Bill 3393.