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Changes coming for charter schools as accreditation renewed for Epic

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 18:13:12-04

TULSA, Okla. — South Tulsa Representative Sheila Dills authored House Bill 1395 this year, aiming to create better transparency and accountability for virtual charter schools.

Starting this year programs like Epic will report to the state just like a public school.

"With virtual charter schools, they're managed by for-profit management companies and they had been using lump-sum figures, not really giving the detail that we get, like in a traditional public school," Dills said.

The governor and state superintendent called for an audit of Epic Virtual Charter School after court documents alleged the founders split more than $10 million in profit. Legislators expect this will continue to be a point of discussion going into next session.

"I think time has elapsed now, seven years has gone by, and we're realizing "hey, we need to revamp some of that policy" and get that straightened out," Dills said.

In the meantime, many public districts are working to adapt to the growing popularity of non-traditional schooling.

"I'm really pleased that many of our school districts locally are starting to roll out full-time virutal and blended learning options because that's kind of where it needs to be, and we need counselors to wrap around these kids that need different kinds of supports," representative Melissa Provenzano said.

In a Facebook post staff with Epic responded to recent claims saying: "This latest attack comes at a time when our growth makes status quo education lobbying groups uncomfortable."

In the wake of the audit, Epic is considering legal action.

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