OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A local charter school that has been in the headlines recently has had its accreditation status changed.
The report contained information on alleged misuse of funds, altered school attendance, and unauthorized teacher bonuses.
According to the department’s report, Epic Charter handed out nearly $8.6 million in bonuses the school’s board reportedly approved last year. However, OSDE said those bonuses were not approved by the district.
In the OSDE’s report, it showed one Epic employee received six times her pay for working only 35 percent of the school year. Some employees even ended up getting an extra six figures.
“Every single penny that we paid out was earned to all the teachers and administrators,” said Paul Campbell, Epic’s board chairman.
OSDE has handed over this audit to District Attorney David Prater for further investigation and possible charges.
Earlier this week, the Oklahoma State Board of Education voted to change Epic Charter School’s accreditation status to “Accredited with Probation.”
“Epic defrauded the state of millions of taxpayer dollars that were meant for children, and they should have been held accountable long ago. Yesterday, the State Board finally accepted my recommendation to put Epic Charter School on probation,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said. “It’s alarming that Governor Stitt’s appointees refused to take appropriate action following the state auditor’s investigative audit in 2020, and yet we’re seeing a similar pattern repeating now with the board’s shielding of accountability for a private school that has similar red flags as Epic.”