Thirteen private schools have been approved to take part in a new program in which parents of special-needs students in public schools may apply for scholarships that allow their children to transfer to private schools, a state Education Department official said Tuesday.
No official requests have been made by parents for student transfers, Assistant state Superintendent for Special Education Services Misty Kimbrough told members of the House Human Services Committee.
But she talked with 96 parents since June about the program and how it would work, she said.
"Because the law only became effective on Friday we haven't had time to get those official forms into our office yet," she said.
Most of the inquiries have come from the Tulsa area, especially the Broken Arrow, Tulsa and Jenks school districts, Kimbrough said.
"My personal opinion is that there is a specialized school already in existence in Tulsa, Town & Country, and they serve children with learning disabilities," she said. "They've been in existence for quite some time."
Other queries have come from the Oklahoma City metro area and three or four have been made from rural areas, she said.
Until now, none of the private schools that have opted to participate have indicated they are equipped to work with severely disabled children, Kimbrough said.
PARTICIPATING PRIVATE SCHOOLS