Bill Seeking More Transparency From Virtual Charter Schools Advances In Oklahoma Legislature

Mar 14, 2019

With a pending investigation of the state’s largest virtual charter school, the Oklahoma House advanced a bill Wednesday designed to increase transparency for the virtual charter system.

House Bill 1395, authored by Rep. Sheila Dills (R-Tulsa), says virtual charters are subject to the same financial reporting as public schools.

"We're just trying to add clarity to the Virtual Charter School Act of 2012 and include language that was inadvertently left out," Dills said. "There have been some inconsistencies in reporting that have raised questions. some of the virtual charter schools have made significant efforts to be more transparent than others."

The legislation also requires owners of the private companies that manage virtual charter schools and board members to disclose conflicts of interest with companies they contract with.

The bill has bipartisan support, and it’s seemingly a response to recent scrutiny of the state’s largest virtual charter school, Epic, which is currently under investigation by state and federal law enforcement agencies. It now heads to the Senate.