$700,000 In Scholarships For Special-Ed Students

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma Department of Education says an estimated $700,000 in state public school funds will be paid to send special-education students to private schools.

The funding by the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Act that passed last year has drawn criticism from public school supporters who say it sends public school funding to private religious schools. The Jenks and the Union school districts have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.

Thirty-two of the 33 private schools approved to accept students under the program are religious schools. Education Department spokesman Damon Gardenhire told the Tulsa World that the $700,000 figure could rise.

He said the deadline to apply for the scholarships is Dec. 1.