State Sen. Accuses Epic Charter Of Not Following Enrollment Law
OKLAHOMA CITY - The State Virtual Charter School Board said Epic Online Charter School isn't in compliance with state laws but stopped short of saying Epic broke any laws in answering questions for a state lawmaker.
The board's executive director told State Senator Ron Sharp (R-Shawnee) the embattled online charter school is violating the state's instruction and school day requirements and appeared to fall in a gray area of what kind of school Epic is.
At the heart of the issue are the so called "ghost students" which Epic has been accused of creating by dually-enrolling students in separate programs or allegedly paying parents to enroll their students with Epic while instead homeschooling their children.
In his statement Sharp believes Epic's enrollment practices are unethical and possibly illegal.
"This is a blatant misrepresentation of enrollment numbers,” Sharp said. “We must hold all of our schools, regardless of whether they are virtual or brick and mortar, financially accountable."
Epic however is disputing what the Board told the state senator, saying the online charter school does not fall under the jurisdiction of the state's virtual charter school board.
"[Sharp is] carrying water for the status quo education lobby, and his blatant misrepresentation of the facts shows his bucket has run dry" Epic’s spokesperson Emily Lang said.
Sharp also criticized the state department of Ed for certifying Epic in the first place, calling the department's lack of questioning "troubling". In the meantime, the OSBI is continuing its investigation into Epic for alleged embezzlement and fraud.