Parents Of Special Needs Children Make Plea For House Bill 3393

Wednesday, October 13th 2010, 4:39 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Dozens of parents sounded off Wednesday night about several school districts choosing to ignore a new state law.

They asked Tulsa School Board members to follow the law that would allow their special needs children to attend private schools on the public dime.

The district's lawyer argued House Bill 3393, which would give public money to private institutions, is unconstitutional. And that the school board is obligated to opt out.

But parents from Tulsa Public Schools and other school districts demanded that the law be followed because they claim public schools aren't meeting their children's special needs.

10/12/2010 Related Story: Parents: Tulsa County Schools Turned Their Backs On Us

"I have fought you guys for years. And I'm tired of fighting for my son. He has a right to an education. He has a right to friends. And he has a right to be able to learn and go to college as a regular student," Jamie Noble, a TPS parent said.

"Do not follow counsel's suggestion or the superintendent's recommendation. It is wrong," said Gerald Buckley, a parent. "It is wrong for all of these families and all of the other children who can avail themselves of this law."

"If I get a speeding ticket, I don't get to vote on whether or not I am going to comply with it. Just follow the law," said Rob Knock, a Jenks parent.

School leaders argue that diverting dollars to private schools will shortchange public school students.

Tulsa Public Schools has not decided whether it will follow the law yet.  In the past week districts like Jenks, Broken Arrow, Union and Bixby decided not to honor it.

10/11/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Union, Bixby Schools Refuse To Comply With Special Needs Funding Law