State School Board demands more than $11 million back from EPIC

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State School Board is taking action against EPIC Charter Schools in the aftermath of the state audit

During a special meeting on Monday, the board voted to demand EPIC return more than $11 million the state auditor says it owes the state.  

“This is not normal, this is not OK,” Board Member Carlisha Bradley said during the meeting. “I do think that it requires action from this board and body to say this is not acceptable.”

During the special meeting, the director of the state’s audit on EPIC broke down the 120-page reports for the board. 

Bradley, a former executive director of a charter school, said she was taken back by the findings.  

“It’s clear from the Oklahoma law that this audit shows there must be money going back to the state,” Bradley said. “It has been illegally dispersed based on what you brought up today.”

Brenda Holt, the director of the EPIC Audit, told the board that by her count EPIC owes the state more than $11 million for payroll overages, administration costs, and sending $200,000 Oklahoma tax payer dollars to California to start a school there.

EPIC Superintendent Bart Banfield did respond to the action with this statement.

“It’s no secret we dispute some of the SAI’s material findings and have requested through an open records request its work papers to review their calculations so we can go beyond our initial audit response to exercise our due process and debunk these calculations.
EPIC is not perfect. No school is. But the dedication of EPIC’s 2,100 employees working here to get things right and improve our processes is. We know more than 60,000 students and their families are counting on us to work with the State Department of Education to resolve issues and we will not let them down.”

Bart Banfield

The board says EPIC has 60 days from the time it receives paperwork from the state auditor’s office to repay the state.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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