It is no secret that the hundreds of our state's bloated public school districts despise the success of Epic Virtual Charter Schools. Lobbyists have pressured some lawmakers to write several new laws which are designed to hamper Epic and weigh it down into the same malaise which currently paralyzes our largest public school districts.
Several weeks ago some new whispers even reached the printed pages of some large newspapers in our state. The problem is, the rumors make no sense and the newspapers normally have higher standards for verification than we see here.
The biggest rumor now floating is that Epic is "being investigated" by "the feds". But which federal agency would that be? If it's criminal in nature, then one would assume that the Justice Dept. is leading the effort. But they don't spread these kind of rumors.
It is the dept. of Labor? Perhaps Epic, which pays teachers an average of $63,000 in compensation per year, is somehow not paying enough? Huh...?
Perhaps the Dept. of Education is investigating the lack of funding? Epic draws funding of about $5000 per pupil, which is pathetic, compared to Tulsa Public Schools, which collects over $9000 per pupil (and fails miserably at educating them).
So why are our state's newspapers printing the rumor of some vague investigation? What is the source? Is it actually Tulsa Public Schools who is whispering? They are frequently feeding storylines to the media outlets.
SoonerPolitics has reached out twice to the Tulsa Public Schools with FOIA requests for any communication of these rumors. They have not responded with any information nor have they explained why they are having difficulty complying with our lawful right to access these records.
Here's another thought... Perhaps the "investigation" has no interest in chasing down bad behavior. Maybe Trump's Education secretary wants to learn from Epic's great success and wants to encourage all 50 states to study what Epic has done in less than 10 years. Epic is now the 5th largest school district in Oklahoma. California's Dept. of Education is now partnering with Epic to give families more choices in the west coast. Epic is on course to become Oklahoma's largest school district in less than 4 years. Now that is a success story which wise and educated leaders should 'investigate' and duplicate, rather than denigrate.