KGOU

Epic Charter Schools

A sign is seen outside of 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City where Epic Charter Schools leases 40,000 square feet for administrative use.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Parents are suing Epic Charter Schools because the virtual school involuntarily unenrolled their children saying they can’t be enrolled at the same time in Epic and a private school. The parents say the prohibition, which is part of Epic’s contract with the state, violates the state Constitution.

Five Things To Know About Virtual School Funding

Sep 16, 2019
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

With the ongoing probes and debate over Epic Charter Schools, state legislators held an interim-study hearing Wednesday on how virtual charter schools are funded. Are changes in the wind?

Investigations Into Epic Charter Schools Explained

Sep 13, 2019

From TV and radio ads to the steady flow of news stories, it has been difficult to ignore Epic Charter Schools lately. With multiple ongoing investigations into the school’s finances and enrollment, here is a comprehensive look at what has transpired and what it could mean for future state policy.

Former Epic Teachers Sue School Over Firing, Alleging Enrollment Manipulation

Sep 4, 2019
An Epic Charter Schools administrative office building is seen on 122nd Street in northwest Oklahoma City.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Two former teachers have filed lawsuits against Epic Charter Schools, alleging they were fired for pushing back against pressure to manipulate the enrollment of their students.

State Investigation Of Epic Expands To Chief Financial Officer, Board

Aug 23, 2019
A sign is seen outside of 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City, where Epic Charter Schools leases 40,000 square feet for administrative use.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

A state investigation into Epic Charter Schools has expanded to include the school’s chief financial officer and four current or former board members, according to a search warrant filed in Oklahoma County Wednesday.

Kevin Stitt is shown speaking at a forum hosted by Edmond Republican Women on May 21.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

This is part two of our most recent conversation with Gov. Stitt. He shares his thoughts on Medicaid expansion and the investigations into the state's largest virtual charter school. 

A sign is seen outside of 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City, where Epic Charter Schools leases 40,000 square feet for administrative use.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma investigators believe Epic Charter Schools embezzled money by inflating its enrollment with homeschool and private school students. Because of the state’s dedication to privacy, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister says the alleged abuse would not have been preventable under current state law.

A sign is seen outside of 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City, where Epic Charter Schools leases 40,000 square feet for administrative use.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Epic Charter Schools is under state and federal investigation. KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitols Shawn Ashley discuss alleged embezzlement of taxpayer dollars by Epic's founders, as well as the history of virtual charter schools in Oklahoma and how they are regulated. 

A sign is seen outside of 50 Penn Place in Oklahoma City, where Epic Charter Schools leases 40,000 square feet for administrative use.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

A state investigator’s search warrant filed in court Tuesday seeks evidence of alleged embezzlement of state funds and obtaining money under false pretenses at Epic Charter Schools, including through the use of “ghost students” who receive no actual instruction at the school.

Former Epic Teachers Describe Pressure To Manipulate Enrollment

Jun 27, 2019
Epic Charter Schools' is transforming its testing site in Midwest City to a blended center that will serve students in grades 7 through 12.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Administrators at Epic Charter Schools have been allowing, encouraging or pressuring teachers to manipulate students’ enrollment for years in order to improve employees’ bonus pay, according to at least seven former teachers.

Caroline Halter / KGOU

In this episode of Capitol Insider KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley speak with Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, who shares her thoughts on the state's new report cards, regulating virtual charter schools, and school funding. 

Proposal Would Expand Unproven Concept: Online-Only Alternative Schools

May 25, 2018
Creative Commons CC0 / Pixnio

The state’s largest virtual charter school wants to open an alternative high school for at-risk students, saying the school will better address the needs of struggling students who already attend or will enroll in its regular online school.

Epic Virtual Charter School has been operating in Oklahoma since 2011, and just opened a new location in Orange County, California a few months ago. However, local superintendents in the O.C. area already want Epic shut down.

Officials from the Anaheim Union High School District and Anaheim Elementary School District have filed a lawsuit against the Orange County Board of Education for approving Epic’s charter in November 2015, despite staff recommendations not to. They say the charter was approved illegally and in violation of California’s Charter School Act.

Matt Whittington, of Edmond, enrolled in Epic Charter Schools because the flexibility of online classes fit with his commitment to gymnastics. The family made special efforts to ensure that the arrangement worked.
Michael Willmus / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma’s largest online charter school is on a track of explosive growth, nearly tripling its enrollment over three years, to almost 8,500.

That pursuit of lightning growth by Epic Charter Schools – a goal affirmed by its co-founder – shows no signs of letting up. Epic officials predict enrollment will near 10,000 by mid-school year.