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Judge's rejection of special-needs scholarship law not a victory for public education

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: March 30, 2012

There's no denying that there are some in Oklahoma who would indeed embrace a voucher system. That they want a system with more and, hopefully, better choices for children is not the same as seeking the destruction of public education.

In a lawsuit, the Union and Jenks school districts argued that the Oklahoma Constitution prohibits sending public dollars to private, sectarian institutions. With little comment, the judge agreed. Lawyers for the defendants, the parents of three special-needs students, indicated they would appeal.

We fail to see how this ruling, if upheld, is a victory for public education or for children. Public education advocates lament the lack of parental involvement in schools. But when parents do get involved and ultimately determine that perhaps public education isn't the best choice for their children, all of a sudden these parents become the enemy or defendants in a lawsuit.

Parents fighting for what's best for their children — and the policymakers who support them — shouldn't be labeled enemies of public education. And suing them for looking out for their children's educational interests is anything but a victory, no matter how a judge or a superintendent might frame the issues.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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