Epic Superintendent Responds to School Board Decision
Mike Seals - October 14, 2020 11:53 am
The Superintendent for Epic Charter Schools has responded to the Statewide Virtual Charter Schools Board meeting after which the board demanded $11.2 million be repaid to the State of Oklahoma. In addition to the letter, below, to all families and staff, the Superintendent issued a 135-page response to the finding of the governor-requested audit. The link to the response following the letter:
13 October, 2020
Dear EPIC Families & Staff,
As I indicated I would do this morning, I want to update you on what happened at the Statewide Virtual Charter Schools Board (SVCSB) meeting this morning and inform you about what it means.
Fairness did not prevail today. After only hearing one side of the story and not allowing EPIC to present at its meeting, the SVCSB did vote to initiate termination proceedings. However, that process is dictated by law and allows EPIC to now have its due process with the Board. We obviously will fully optimize every legal remedy. And, ultimately, if we are not successful with the SVCSB, we can appeal to the State Board of Education, which has acted in a manner that demonstrates it believes in due process. It is also important to remember, the SVCSB’s action does not impact our students in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties. The SVCSB authorizes our One-to-One program in the other 75 Oklahoma counties but Rose State College is our sponsor in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties.
We have no concerns the SVCSB’s actions will impact this school year in any of the 77 Oklahoma counties we operate. Our staff will continue to have jobs and be paid, and our students will continue to be served. We assure you that we remain confident the facts are on our side and truth will prevail once we are allowed to show evidence and make our case before the appropriate governing bodies.
Many of you have reached out to ask what you can do. Should you want to share your EPIC story, consider writing or calling your locally elected lawmakers. You can also write State Board of Education members. We know many lawmakers have not yet read our initial response to the State Auditor’s audit and it would benefit them to do so. Moreover, once we are given the audit work papers from the State Auditor & Inspector, we will be able to make an even more detailed response to all parties and challenge the auditor’s calculations.
Remember, only one side of the story has been allowed to be told. The pursuit of truth is process driven and that process now begins. We are dedicated to protecting our more than 2,100 employees and the families of our more than 60,000 students. You have my word on that.
Bart Banfield, Superintendent
(Link to Response, below)