“The Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s decision to begin termination proceedings of Epic One-on-One’s contract is good news for Oklahoma public schools and taxpayers. I’ve talked to members of the board on numerous occasions over the last few years about Epic’s misuse of public funds, dual enrollment and outrageous administrative costs and was, essentially, ignored. Now that the school is under state and federal investigation, and the State Auditor’s office has brought to light all the school’s violations of state law, I’m glad this Board is finally ready to do its job.
“We are facing difficult financial times. It’s been sickening to watch Epic misuse hundreds of millions of dollars since its opening and no one doing anything. Virtual education plays an important role in helping Oklahoma students, but no district should profit at the expense of our children.
“I hope the Board terminates the contract to stop the hemorrhage of public education funds into Epic’s money-making scheme. Epic One-on-One and Epic Blended need to be reorganized to provide public education services legally and ethically just as all other school districts in the state do. They cannot be held to a different standard than our other public schools.
“While I will no longer be in office after November, I hope my legislative colleagues will continue my work to hold Epic Charter Schools accountable and not let their strong lobby presence, legal team or immense campaign funds scare them from doing what is right. We take an oath to uphold the constitution and provide oversight and accountability of state entities and taxpayer funds. I have upheld my oath and hope my colleagues do as well.”
Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and the former vice chair of the Senate Education Committee. He is a retired 38-year Oklahoma teacher.
For more information, contact: Sen. Sharp: (405) 521-5539 or Ron.Sharp@oksenate.gov