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Epic Sues State Senator

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Epic Schools
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Oklahoma’s largest virtual charter school system has filed a lawsuit against a state senator, alleging he knowingly published false statements about the school.

Epic Charter Schools filed the libel and slander lawsuit against Sen. Ron Sharp Monday in Oklahoma County District Court, seeking at least $75,000 in damages, The Oklahoman reports. He contends the system illegally inflated its in-person enrollment to attract more state funding.

“We feel no option exists other than defending our school, staff and the families we serve from malicious defamation,” Epic’s board said in a statement.

 

Epic sent Sharp a cease-and-desist letter in September. The school’s governing board voted in October to pursue legal action against him.

Sharp argues in multiple public statements Epic is unlawful by counting attendance at its physical learning spaces the same way it does for its online-only systems.

Sharp has also said he wants to “get to the bottom” of why Epic counted more than 3,000 sixth through 12th graders among its centers that only serve pre-K through fifth grade.

Currently a focus of a state criminal investigation, Epic denies any wrongdoing, saying it counts all students in Oklahoma County and Tulsa County under its physical learning spaces.

“We need to get some answers because there’s millions of dollars that are being diverted away from traditional public schools,” Sharp told The Oklahoman. “We need to find out how deep their pockets are and who they have politically corrupted.”