Mom Worried Son Won't Have Classroom This Year
By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Hundreds of Oklahoma families are wondering where their kids will go for school this year. They were expecting to attend an online charter school, but the state wouldn't allow it to open its virtual doors. Now, a court order could change that.
On Monday, a judge ruled in favor of Epic One on One Charter School, allowing the school to go forward and enroll students, but it may be too late for hundreds of students.
While other kids are gearing up for school, one mom is not sure where her son's classroom will be this year. Micheal Welch, along with over 400 students, was ready to attend Epic 1 on 1, a new online charter school. But the state department of education denied the school a code that allows a school to be funded and to enroll students.
A regular classroom is not an option for Micheal, who struggles with attention deficit and a speech disorder.
"Classroom settings aren't for everybody. Maybe for 90 percent of children, but even if for 90 percent, that's still 10 percent being left behind," said parent Rose Welch.
The founder of the virtual school doesn't want to leave anyone behind. He filed a lawsuit against the state and was granted a partial victory. The school can open, but it's not clear when that will happen.
"It is a little bit disconcerting for our families that there is a question whether they get to start this fall or if they have to wait for the open transfer period and begin next fall with Epic," said Epic 1 on 1 Founder David Chaney.
Until then, Micheal may have to be home schooled. But he won't have access to the therapy public and charter schools are allowed under state law, for special needs kids.
"I don't see how that's fair to just take that away from Oklahoma's kids," Welch said.
Good news could come as early as this week or next though. The founder of Epic is waiting for another court ruling, which could allow the school to open this year.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education denied Epic a school code because it lacked a school board.