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Create Scholarships for Children of Incarcerated Parents

January 30, 2018 - 10:59am CST

Oklahoma has an important private-school voucher program, the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program for Children with Disabilities.

The program, enacted in 2010, is helping teenage students who are battling addiction, bullied children who contemplated suicide, rural students who want a faith-based education, autistic students, and many more.

In 2017, policymakers expanded the eligibility for this scholarship program, formerly limited to special-education students, to include children in foster care (a 2015 OCPA recommendation) and children adopted out of state custody.

Building on the program’s success—and with an eye toward breaking the intergenerational cycle of incarceration—lawmakers in 2018 should create a new program providing scholarships for the children of incarcerated parents.