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Epic Charter Schools to hold board meeting to discuss state's audit report

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Posted at 10:23 AM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 23:39:39-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — The battle continues between Epic Charter Schools and the state government.

Epic Charter Schools Board of Education held a meeting Wednesday evening in Oklahoma City to discuss the school's response to the state's audit report. The report found the school owed millions of dollars to the Oklahoma State Treasury.

Lawyers for Epic Youth Services took the board through multiple findings from the audit and shared why they believe the report was inaccurate. They said many of the inaccuracies had to do with how administrative costs were coded when reported to the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System.

They also denied some of the reports claims about Epic's school in California. Lawyers said the loan obtained to start the California school was not secured by collateral. They also said the school did not pledge public assets to secure the loan and no guarantees were made by Epic in Oklahoma.

In early October, the State Board of Education voted for Epic Charter Schools to return $11,235,919 within 60 days following the investigation by the State Auditor's Office.

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

The next day, Epic Charter School's Superintendent Bart Banfield reached out to families in a letter to explain the school's situation in the recent audit and other issues. Later, that same day, the Virtual Charter School Board voted to begin the process to terminate contract with Epic One-on-One Charter School.

Epic's superintendent issued a statement saying the virtual charter school board will "prevail" once they have the opportunity to present their side.

Fairness did not prevail today, but it’s important to understand what did happen. The SVCSB voted to initiate the process to terminate, but it is a process that provides EPIC due process with that Board, as well as other legal options. So far, only one side of the story has been allowed to be told. We are confident that once we have the audit work papers and have as much opportunity to present our side of the audit as the State Auditor has been provided, we will prevail for our more than 2,100 employees and the families of our more than 60,000 students.
Bart Banfield, Superintendent of Epic Charter Schools

READ MORE: Virtual Charter School Board votes to begin process to terminate contract with Epic Charter Schools

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