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Okla. Judge Rules Scholarship Law Unconstitutional (Mar 27, 2012)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A district judge in Tulsa has ruled that an Oklahoma law authorizing state-funded scholarships for children with disabilities to attend private schools is unconstitutional.

Tulsa County District Judge Rebecca Nightingale ruled Tuesday the law passed in 2010 violates a constitutional prohibition of public money being used - directly or indirectly - for any sectarian institution.

Nightingale issued her opinion from the bench in the case in which public schools in Jenks and Tulsa challenged the law in a suit against parents who applied for the scholarship funding.

Tulsa Union Superintendent Cathy Burden says the district is "absolutely thrilled" with the judge's decision.

Washington, D.C.-based attorney Eric Baxter, who represented the parents, promised to appeal and "continue to fight for the rights of the students and their families."

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