Thirteen private schools will take part in Oklahoma special needs program

No official requests have been made yet from parents of special-needs students for school district money that would allow their children to transfer to private schools, an Oklahoma Department of Education official told a legislative panel.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: September 1, 2010
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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.

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PARTICIPATING PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Western Oklahoma Christian School, Clinton

Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School, Tulsa

Bishop John McCarroll School, Oklahoma City

St. Mary's Catholic School, Lawton

Good Shepherd Lutheran School and Child Development Center, Midwest City

Sacred Heart Catholic School, Oklahoma City

Victory Christian School, Tulsa

Metro Christian Academy, Tulsa

Holy Trinity Catholic School, Okarche

All Saints Catholic School, Norman

Town & Country School, Tulsa

Wesleyan Christian School, Bartlesville

Summit Christian Academy, Broken Arrow

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