Scholarship ruling overturned in state Supreme Court

Oklahoma Supreme Court overturns 2014 district court ruling

OKLAHOMA CITY - Tuesday the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld the Lindsey Nicole Henry scholarship program.

The ruling overturned a ruling by a district court that said the program violated the state constitution.

The Lindsey Nicole Henry Act created the scholarship fund to help parents of disabled children send their children to a private school.

"I have always contended that the Lindsey Nicole Henry scholarship program is constitutional, and with the decision of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, parents of students with disabilities will once again be empowered to seek educational opportunities to help their students learn and succeed," Attorney General Pruitt said.

"This program saves money for the public school system, while benefiting children with special needs by allowing them to select the educational options that best suits them. This is a victory for students with disabilities across our state and for their families," said Gov. Mary Fallin on Tuesday's ruling.

"This also is a victory for education in Oklahoma. All students learn differently, so each of them should have the opportunity to attend a school that offers the best environment for success. This can be accomplished through Education Savings Accounts, which I encourage legislators to approve this session, while still protecting school finances," Fallin continued.

Back in 2014, a district court judge ruled the money couldn't be used to send those students to religiously affiliated schools. Pruitt appealed the ruling, stating the ruling required the state to discriminate against those schools.

50 schools statewide participate in the program. Not all of them are religious.

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