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Epic Charter Schools addresses audit, other issues with parents

Epic Charter Schools reach out to parents on State Board, Virtual Charter Schools Board issues
Posted at 9:02 AM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 13:58:41-04

TULSA, Okla. — Epic Charter Schools Superintendent Bart Banfield reached out to families in a letter to explain the school's situation in the recent audit and other issues.

On Monday, the State Board of Education voted the virtual charter school must return $11,235,919 within 60 days of receiving paperwork following an investigation by the State Auditor's Office.

READ MORE: Epic Charter Schools must pay over $11M following audit investigation

In the letter, Banfield explained the virtual charter school has 60 days of receiving paperwork from the investigation to respond.

Yesterday the State Board of Education voted to claw back $11 million from EPIC based on the State Auditor and Inspector's recent audit. However, the vote was for us to respond to their demand within 60 days of receiving the work papers from the SAI that they have yet to release to us. We believe these work papers will enable us to prove that the SAI's calculations are wrong.
Epic Superintendent Bart Banfield

Banfield also addressed the Statewide Virtual Charter Schools Board (SVCSB) meeting on Tuesday. According to a meeting agenda, the Virtual Charter Schools Board will discuss and possibly vote to eliminate its contract with Community Strategies, Inc., which is the board for Epic One-on-One Charter School.

READ MORE: Virtual Charter School Board could vote to eliminate contract with Epic on Tuesday

Banfield said in the letter to parents, "So you understand our governance, know that we are sponsored in Tulsa and Oklahoma County by Rose State College. We are authorized to operate in the other 75 Oklahoma counties by the SVCSB."

Banfield continued to explain to parents the board did not allow Epic to present at the meeting. He said he will be attending it, however, to make some public comments.

The SVCSB did not afford us the opportunity to present at its meeting today. However, I will attend the meeting and make brief public comments, which the Open Meetings Act allows me to do. The Act allows you to do so, too. Even if the SVCSB votes to initiate a termination process, it is a process and would not terminate effective today. Moreover, the law affords us due process with the SVCSB. And, ultimately, we can appeal to the State Board of Education if being provided proof to the SVCSB that we are not in breach of contract does not change its position. All of these legal options afforded to us in the law will take time and result in this school year not being disrupted. Hopefully, the SVCSB does not take that action, but I did want to explain the process to you.
Bart Banfield, Epic Charter Schools Superintendent

The letter ends with Banfield letting families know he is working to resolved the issues and will continue to keep them updated after the Statewide Virtual Charter Schools Board meeting.

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