These include amendments to the formal agreements between Epic’s two separate schools, which share payroll and other costs, and between Epic and Epic Youth Services to “more specifically” define how student learning fund dollars and management fees are calculated and paid to EYS.
Last week, the Oklahoma State Board of Education demanded $11.2 million back from Epic Charter Schools, and the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, which sponsors Epic One-on-One, entered into termination proceedings against Epic based on the state audit findings.
Cantrell said the penalty assessed by the state Board of Education amounted to “one state agency backing up another state agency, covering their ass,” referring to the State Auditor’s Office.
“This is a pile-on job,” Cantrell said. “We never heard anything like this from the state Department (of Education) before.”
Epic’s board did heed one bit of criticism from the auditor’s report and approved a new meeting schedule for 2021 with monthly meeting dates, rather than quarterly ones, which has been the board’s practice to date.
The state audit found oversight to be lacking on the part of Epic’s “handpicked” governing board members, selected by school co-founders David Chaney and Ben Harris, “whose for-profit school management company contract and performance should be overseen by an independent board,” the audit report states.