Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

OK Schools Ignoring Scholarship Program

Earlier posts dealt with an Oklahoma law providing scholarships for special-needs kids. But not all schools are abiding by it, as KTUL reports:
Blake Robison has Asperger's Syndrome. He's comfortable here, after a nightmarish experience in a public school.

"He was never called by his name but by a nickname that they gave him called 'Bleak," she said "And he would answer, because no one would ever call him his name,".

Blake says he was bullied, by fellow students and even a substitute teacher. At Town and Country, he's made improvements.

"I was failing almost every class. I come here and I ask for help, because I'm not afraid to ask for help and I am making better grades here," said Blake.

His parents thought they'd be reimbursed tuition fees, thanks to a new state law.

"Now it's a little scary because we get to fill in the extra amount we thought the scholarship was going to take care of, and pay for the services that we are getting," explained Blake's mom.

Town and Country is a school specifically for students diagnosed with learning disabilities and Aspergers.

"We can do things in different way that sometimes another traditional environment, whether its a public school or private school. As hard as they try to help this child be successful, they just haven't been able to figure out the best way, " said Kate Davis, schools spokesperson.

They had nearly 20-students enroll, believing the scholarship money would be there. Now, public schools are holding the money back--in protest, citing constitutional rights and education standards.

But no matter what happens. Blake is staying here.

" I joke around and tell my husband and family, that we want Blake here so badly, we would live in a cardboard box, on the side of the highway, because he is happy," exclaimed his mother.

On Monday, however, Tulsa changed course -- a bit.