Epic Disputes State's Findings In First Board Meeting Since Audit's Release


Thursday, October 22nd 2020, 5:56 am
By: Caleb Califano


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The State Board of Education will discuss its money demands from Epic Charter School Thursday morning, just hours after Epic wrapped up a late-night meeting over the state's audit.

The State's board meeting will begin virtually at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. It will include legal discussion in executive session on the pending investigation into Epic Charter schools.

Both of Epic's board meetings ended around 11 p.m. Wednesday. Board members disputed almost all of the State Auditor's findings.

Attorneys for Epic said there is no criminal wrongdoing in the audit.

The board also passed resolutions to correct errors found in the audit, including board approval for payments between the schools, and staying on top of issuing and paying invoices.

“For them to just pile on without giving us due process is just wrong,” Epic Board Member Mike Cantrell said. “I hope we can all kind of work together to come to a resolution on things. None of us likes this hanging over our head, but it sure seems politically motivated to me.”

The State feels differently.

"An auditor has never been met with this much intimidation tactics or stonewalling to get information that is supposed to be public to any citizen that walks through the door," said State Auditor Cindy Byrd.

Epic is waiting for the state auditor's work papers before paying the $11 million the State Department of Education said they owe.

Epic said it's confident they will "debunk" the numbers after looking at the auditor's math, and the board will hold another special meeting on the audit on November 18th.

The board is also committing to a hearing with the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board in January, over possible contract violations.

Read Related: Epic Charter Schools Attorney Says Audit Finds No Criminal Violation, District Vows For Due Process