Inconsistencies apparent in Oklahoma schools' private funds policy

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: June 26, 2012
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Tulsa Public Schools recently accepted donations of $1.2 million and $620,000 from private donors, and a group of parents provided $1.1 million to Jenks schools. Understandably, school officials praised the donations.

Yet it's ironic that both districts are among those fighting the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Act, which allows parents of children with special needs to use state funds (already designated for the child's education) to pay for tuition at a private school. Jenks even sued the parents of children who obtained scholarships.

Apparently mixing public and private spheres is bad when it directly benefits children with special needs, but wonderful when administrators at public schools get control of private funds.

Critics claim the scholarship law takes money away from public schools, hurting all districts. Yet we notice Tulsa and Jenks didn't insist on running their private donations through the state's school funding formula so all districts could benefit. Apparently, they suddenly became a lot less concerned about equitable funding for all districts.

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