Sand Springs school board blasts special-needs vouchers

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Yet another Tulsa-area school board has voiced support for the lawsuit by Jenks and Union school districts to strike down the law that provides for adequate education for Oklahoma children with special needs. The Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Act allows parents of a special-needs child to transfer some of the money that has been allocated for their child's public education to pay for special education at a private school. The Sand Springs school board voted unanimously in favor of a resolution condemning the scholarship act in solidarity with Jenks and Union.

Brandon Dutcher at Choice Remarks noted the Sand Springs superintendent's claim that "education hasn't failed, except maybe in a few overcrowded, underfunded urban districts."

But on a global scale, Sand Springs students would get mediocre grades at best. According to, the average Sand Springs student would perform only as well or better in math than 16% of students in Finland and as well or better in reading than 39% of Finnish students. Comparisons to other developed countries are similarly dismal, particularly for math proficiency. (Jenks and Union numbers aren't that hot, either.)

If our public school districts are unable to provide an adequate education for children without learning challenges, how badly must they be failing children with special needs? Shame on Jenks, shame on Union, shame on Sand Springs, and on every other school board spending tax dollars to try to block this very modest legislation, rather than trying to do better at accommodating special-needs kids.

Attention, Sand Springs residents (and residents of any district seeking to block the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Act): Filing period for school board across Oklahoma is December 5, 6, and 7. Please consider running. It's apparent that the current school board members are more devoted to preserving their power than to providing the best education possible so these special-needs kids can reach their full potential.

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Not only is this the filing period for Oklahoma's presidential preference primary, but it's also the school board filing period, and every school district in the state has at least one seat up for election in 2012. Filing for a school board seat takes ... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on November 15, 2011 11:22 PM.

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