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Epic Charter Schools adding human, financial resources to address deficiencies ID'd by state auditor

Epic Charter Schools adding human, financial resources to address deficiencies ID'd by state auditor

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'Our kids have become a piggy bank': Epic Charter Schools shields $50M in taxpayer funds from public scrutiny

In a meeting Monday night, Epic Charter School’s governing board hired more staff to address deficiencies cited by state investigators.

Epic Charter Schools’ statewide virtual charter school added new hires and contracted with a second accounting firm Monday night in response to issues identified in a recent state investigative audit.

At Epic One-on-One’s monthly governing board meeting, the hiring of Jeanise Wynn, who has been the business manager at Edmond Public Schools, was announced. Wynn will serve as the school’s new assistant superintendent of finance, reporting directly to the governing board.

Longtime Epic Chief Financial Officer Josh Brock will now serve only the school’s outside, for-profit management company, called Epic Youth Services.

The arrangement of Brock serving as CFO for both entities was branded an “inherent conflict of interest” by the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector because having Brock write checks for Epic’s charter schools and then signing their backs to deposit them into the for-profit company’s bank account “violates the most basic accounting principles.”

Additionally, a former Epic teacher named Charlotte Uzzel has been made the new instructional quality assurance specialist to work alongside the school system’s internal auditor and conduct gradebook audits.

Epic board members also approved a $225 per hour contract with a second school accounting firm, Arledge and Associates, to analyze how Epic has been reporting its expenditures, including administrative costs to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education has demanded $11.2 million in taxpayer money back from Epic based on the investigative audit’s findings of chronically excessive administrative overhead costs and inaccurate cost accounting to the state.

Featured video: Staff Writer Andrea Eger’s most memorable stories of 2020

We’ve asked each Tulsa World reporter and photographer to look back at this year and share their thoughts on the stories that stuck with them. Andrea’s included investigating Epic Charter Schools and more.


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Staff Writer

I'm a projects reporter, examining key education topics and other local issues. Since joining the Tulsa World in 1999, I have been a three-time winner of Oklahoma’s top award for investigative reporting by an individual. Phone: 918-581-8470

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