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GOP Legislators Call For Audit Of State Department Of Education After Epic Charter Schools Report

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Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange
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The Oklahoma State Capitol building in Oklahoma City, Okla.

A group of Republican lawmakers are calling for an investigative audit of Oklahoma’s State Department of Education in the wake of state auditor Cindy Byrd’s explosive report about Epic Charter Schools.

Byrd’s lengthy investigative audit did find faults with how the State Department of Education handled Epic’s financial reporting over the years.

In a statement, 22 Republican lawmakers want to see if there is negligence in financial oversight of Oklahoma’s public school system.

"Throughout the report, the auditor notes the failure of the State Department of Education (SDE) to properly monitor the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System (OCAS) for compliance. Specifically, the state auditor states that SDE has ‘no process in place to evaluate actual compliance with the written policies and procedures, or with applicable laws, statutes, or Administrative Rules.’ The auditor goes on to state that 'there is virtually no follow-up or on-site review conducted by SDE as it relates to the actual records underlying the data reported.'"

Lawmakers hope the audit would determine if there are any other flaws in how the state is handling public money earmarked for education.

It would ultimately be up to Governor Kevin Stitt to officially request an audit.

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Robby Korth joined StateImpact Oklahoma in October 2019, focusing on education reporting.
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