OKLAHOMA CITY - The superintendent of Epic Charter Schools has responded to allegations in an OSBI investigation in a letter to parents. 

News 9 obtained a copy of an email sent by Superintendent Bart Banfield to parents Tuesday.

The letter followed the release of a document revealing the OSBI is investigating the two founders of Epic for alleged embezzlement.

The letter reads:

Dear EPIC families:

As you are likely aware, there was a story published in the Oklahoman this evening that claims EPIC “embezzled millions with ‘ghost students.’” The allegations made in this story are not only false but incorrectly reported. Below, you will see our statement in response.

Please know that our commitment to EPIC and its diligence to student achievement is absolute. Your public school system is going to address this issue in the most vigorous possible way.

An agent from Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is saying that EPIC serves ghost students and hires straw teachers that don’t actually exist. We know that your students are real. Our teachers who serve them are real. Our commitment to their education is real, as is our diligence in providing every student in our care every opportunity to succeed. The simple truth is this: we serve real students with real needs, with real, committed and qualified staff.

EPIC is a disruptor when it comes to “the way things have always been done.” As an organization, we have been here before. We have successfully proven every allegation made against us to be false. We will continue to do so because our purpose is simple and pure: offer every Oklahoma student the opportunity to learn in an environment that works best for them.

Thank you for all you do and know that EPIC has your back.

Sincerely,

Bart Banfield

EPIC Superintendent

 

A STATEMENT FROM BART BANFIELD, SUPERINTENDENT, EPIC CHARTER SCHOOLS:

“We are audited by the Department of Education and state approved auditors each school year and are supremely confident that we operate our public school system within the boundaries of state and federal law. Since our inception in 2011 we have time after time proven ourselves innocent of all allegations. We will again.

This latest attack comes at a time when our growth makes status quo education lobbying groups uncomfortable.

We are considering legal action to combat what we believe is a coordinated effort to damage our school, our co-founders and our staff.”