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Oklahoma State Auditor Investigation Finds Litany Of Problems With Epic Charter Schools

Sue Ogrocki

A long-awaited report from Oklahoma State Auditor Cindy Byrd on Epic Charter Schools was released Thursday. Byrd found a litany of problems in her investigation of the school that’s faced legal scrutiny for years.

Byrd writes the virtual charter behemoth owes Oklahoma taxpayers almost $9 million for a string of concerning actions in the 120-page investigative report.

Her report says Epic, the state’s largest virtual charter school, was given more than $450 million over the last five years. And of that, at least $125 million has been siphoned through a learning fund that goes to families and a for-profit management company operated by Epic’s founders Ben Harris and David Chaney.

Because there’s no oversight of that money, it appears that it didn’t go to actually educating kids, Byrd writes. And that’s a big problem, she says.

Those records remain tied up in litigation as Epic says they should remain private. But Byrd continues to fight for a full accounting of those dollars in court. 

The audit report concludes that Oklahoma should consider that for-profit organizations running charter schools might not be a good idea.


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