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Lawmaker Criticizes Schools Over Special Needs Voucher (Oct 05, 2010)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state lawmaker says two Oklahoma school districts are "grotesquely irresponsible" for ignoring a state law that allows special education students to use public funds to attend private schools.

The Broken Arrow and Jenks school boards voted Monday not to pay parents who request a publicly funded scholarship so their special needs child can attend a private school. School officials say it will take money away from public schools.

A law creating the scholarship program was passed by lawmakers this year. Its author, Rep. Jason Nelson of Oklahoma City, says not complying with it will hurt special needs children it was intended to help.

The measure would allow disabled students with an individualized education program to qualify for a scholarship to attend any state accredited public or private school.

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