We must free ourselves from the destructive notion that public funding of education means that a student must be educated at a public school. These reports prove that there are some children who require a different school environment than a public school can supply. Our children, the school district, and the larger community will all benefit if the state enables parents to send their children to the school, public or private, that best meets their needs.
Fortunately, our state has established a program, the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities, which empowers parents to choose the right school for their disabled child. At best this program helps a few hundred children. We need to expand and trumpet it so it serves thousands.
Unfortunately, instead of treating the scholarship as a blessing, too many public educators perceive it a threat.
Meanwhile, The Oklahoman opines:
[M]any Oklahoma public schools need a culture change. By freeing the families of children with special needs to take those students to private schools that do a better job, as the scholarship law does, lawmakers have taken a step in the right direction.
It's not irrational for parents to think second-graders can be disciplined without being handcuffed, or wrong to want their education tax dollars to pay to actually educate their children.
And in The Journal Record, OCPA president Michael Carnuccio writes:
Oklahoma has an opportunity to innovate, create its own solutions to address autism and avoid the perils of mandates. State-specific programs such as education scholarships, high-risk pools, and expanded training for parents and teachers with autistic students are the right solutions.
Oklahomans should rally to make their voices heard and oppose state bureaucrats who are currently trying to overturn the Henry Scholarship program in court.
I encourage you to read all three pieces in their entirety.