Wednesday, January 19, 2011

AG Scott Pruitt gives defiant schools a warning, deadline

I issued the following statement today after Attorney General Scott Pruitt threatened legal action against schools that disobey the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program Act, which provides scholarships to students with special needs. The AG letter (attached) went to the Broken Arrow, Jenks, Union and Liberty schools.

“I think that the remaining school boards have had more than enough time to change their position in favor of the law and clearly Attorney General Pruitt thinks so, too.

“It was the stated intention of the school boards to end up in court over House Bill 3393. Judging from the letter from Attorney General Pruitt, it appears that these board members and their superintendents may get their wish – but for a much different reason than they anticipated.

“I'm hopeful that the four school boards that are currently in noncompliance will revisit their position soon and follow the Tulsa, Owasso and Bixby school boards in reversing the votes they cast last fall. If they do not, I fully support the Attorney General pursuing legal action against the school board members and superintendents to the fullest extent of the law.

“This is good news for those parents whose hopes of using the scholarships to place their children in other schools were dashed last fall.”
State Superintendent Janet Barresi today issued the following statement:

"Over the past several weeks, I have urged the school districts defying state law to reverse their positions. Attorney General Pruitt and I have consulted on this serious matter.

I am pleased that Attorney General Pruitt has now weighed in and taken this action today, bringing the full weight of state authority to bear in this matter.

The school districts that have acted in defiance of state law have now been given the chance to do the right thing. They should take immediate action to reverse their positions, and I urge them to move forward quickly."

Here is a scanned copy of the letter from Attorney General Scott Pruitt.


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