April 16, 2021

Happy Friday, everyone. There was more news this week about Epic Charter Schools, the state’s largest online charter school system, which we’ve been covering since 2017. This time, the schools’ board is hoping its proposed deal will be enough to avoid the contract termination hearing currently scheduled for next month. We broke down the major changes they’ll make under the agreement, which include making the learning fund public and no longer allowing the management company access to its public bank accounts.

The critical part of the deal, though, is that it’s not retroactive. The changes will be made going forward. And the big question now is: will that be enough for the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, which in October began the process of terminating Epic’s contract?

The Statewide Virtual Charter School Board has called special meeting for 3 p.m. Tuesday. While the agenda has not been publicly posted, this proposal will likely be the topic of discussion.

Some are saying Epic should still have to account for the millions spent through the learning fund thus far.

Here’s one response on Twitter, from Rick Cobb, superintendent of Mid-Del Schools.

On a personal note, two of my children will be taking state tests next week (my youngest is in 2nd grade so she won’t be). My 5th grader was actually bummed when state tests were canceled last year – he enjoys taking them. But I’m certain he’s not the norm. What do you think about Oklahoma students taking state tests this year? I’d love to hear from you. Email me if you’d like to share your thoughts at jpalmer@oklahomawatch.org.

—Jennifer Palmer

How Epic Seeks to Resolve Contract Dispute with Statewide Virtual Charter School Board

Five takeaways from Epic Charter School’s proposed settlement.

Around the web

  • Epic Charter Schools slapped with new $10.5 million penalty by state Education Department [Tulsa World]
  • OKCPS requests investigative audit of Santa Fe South charter school [NonDoc]
  • Opinion: Oklahoma already has rules for transgender athletes, so legislation unnecessary [The Oklahoman]
  • As Biden eyes infrastructure, recent research suggests students’ environments affect academic success [Chalkbeat]
  • Kids are returning to classrooms. But what will happen to those who stay at home? [Washington Post]

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