Friday, October 15, 2010

Longtime ed lawyer on rogue districts: 'I've never seen anything like it before'

Bill Wilkinson has practiced education law in Oklahoma for 40 years. He doesn't like House Bill 3393, which established the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program. "It's a stupid piece of legislation," he says. "It's terrible."

But as Chris Wright reports, Mr. Wilkinson is appalled that some school districts are choosing simply not to comply with the law.
"I've never seen anything like it before. I thought it was a bad dream when I saw it reported on the news. It's just a terrible, terrible mistake," Wilkinson said. ...

Wilkinson says there's another option. The districts could have filed what's called a "Petition For Declaratory Judgement." He says that would have allowed a district judge to rule on whether or not 3393 is constitutional.

Instead, the schools have chosen what he believes is a very slippery slope.

"We can't deteriorate to the point where we can just simply say I like this law; I'm going to abide by it," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson also represents school districts across the state, and says he's strongly advising them not to follow the lead of the larger Tulsa County districts.

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