July 20, 2024

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Oklahoma Education Department Releases Investigative Report On EPIC Charter Schools, Hofmeister Pursues Probation

Point out Superintendent of Schooling Pleasure Hofmeister declared Tuesday she will suggest probation for Epic Charter Educational institutions following a new report found the district may well have violated point out regulation.  

“It is, however, true that epic constitution colleges continues to be a college that has challenged enterprise, that has appeared to have misused taxpayer dollars, violated state law, and fostered a local climate of anxiety and uncertainty among the school staff members,” Hofmeister said at a push meeting.  

To read the total report in this article, click below.  

The report was divided into three key sections of concern: flawed attendance information, unauthorized bonuses for Epic administration, and achievable violations of the condition Open Conference Act.  

Epic Superintendent Bart Banfield responded to the report together with other customers of the govt crew. He claimed the district’s board of education has is relatively new to the occupation since Epic selected to sever ties with its previous management organization, Epic Youth Companies, in May possibly 2021.  

Wyjuana Montgomery begun in February 2021 and is the district’s longest-serving board member, according to Epic’s website.  

“It is very clear we have built some coverage and procedural blunders as we have founded new governance and new oversight. We are remarkably fully commited to remaining clear as we consider corrective action,” Banfield mentioned.  

The flawed attendance knowledge concerned an algorithm that marked pupils as a present for class after 14 days of consecutive absences. This allowed Epic to keep all those learners enrolled, Hofmeister reported, simply because new state law demands districts to unenroll students soon after 15 consecutive absences.  

“It appears Epic (Charter Faculties) may perhaps have deliberately created an algorithm to adapt to the new law in this sort of a way that a big quantity of pupils were in no way absent on the 15th working day, were not dropped from enrollment, and Epic continued to get funding from these pupils.”  

The data showed 4,819 unique students showing this sample, according to the report.  

Hofmeister reported the condition misallocated about $780,000 to Epic Constitution Faculties simply because of the algorithm.  

The report also uncovered Epic Charter Colleges experienced awarded far more than $8.5 million to administration staff without the need of the approval of the district’s board.  

Banfield reported he does not agree with just about every obtaining in the report but declined to go into detail. He stated the district will “work cooperatively” with the OSDE to resolve the problems.