Epic Charter Schools governing boards respond to recent actions by two state education boards | Education

These include amendments to the formal agreements between Epic’s two separate schools, which share payroll and other costs, and between Epic and Epic Youth Services to “more specifically” define how student learning fund dollars and management fees are calculated and paid to EYS.

Last week, the Oklahoma State Board of Education demanded $11.2 million back from Epic Charter Schools, and the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board, which sponsors Epic One-on-One, entered into termination proceedings against Epic based on the state audit findings.

Cantrell said the penalty assessed by the state Board of Education amounted to “one state agency backing up another state agency, covering their ass,” referring to the State Auditor’s Office.

“This is a pile-on job,” Cantrell said. “We never heard anything like this from the state Department (of Education) before.”

Epic’s board did heed one bit of criticism from the auditor’s report and approved a new meeting schedule for 2021 with monthly meeting dates, rather than quarterly ones, which has been the board’s practice to date.

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The state audit found oversight to be lacking on the part of Epic’s “handpicked” governing board members, selected by school co-founders David Chaney and Ben Harris, “whose for-profit school management company contract and performance should be overseen by an independent board,” the audit report states.

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Fortnite on PC is now over 60GB smaller, thanks to Epic optimization

Fortnite on PC has shrunk considerably, down from over 90GB to just under 30GB, thanks to recent optimizations from developer Epic.

The news, detailed yesterday in a Fortnite update note posted to the game’s service Twitter account, means the battle royale hit will now take up far less space on your computer’s drive. That gives you more room for other games — or some extra breathing room in the event you have the monstrous Call of Duty: Modern Warfare / Warzone installed.

As the update note stresses, PC players will have to download a larger-than-normal patch before the overall file size reduction takes effect. But after that, the game should take up no more than a third of its prior size. The patch is also setting up the game for improved loading performance and smaller future patches down the line, speeding up the time it takes to update Fortnite and get back to playing.

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Doc Emrick Retires After Epic Career

Epic seems like an appropriate word to describe Doc Emrick’s Hall of Fame career, which he officially called on Monday after announcing his retirement.

So it’s fitting that Emrick was on the call for the 1987 Easter Epic, the legendary Isles-Capitals Game 7 that went to a fourth overtime before Pat LaFontaine’s winner. Most Isles fans are familiar with Jiggs McDonald’s call, but the rest of the country was watching Emrick on ESPN.

The Easter Epic was one of over 3,750 professional and Olympic games Emrick called over 47 seasons in the booth. He voiced 45 Game 7s, 22 Stanley Cup Finals, 19 Winter Classic and Stadium Series games and six Winter Olympics. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008 – one of seven Hall of Fames he’s been inducted into. 

“Things change over 50 years, but much of what I love is unchanged from then to now and into the years ahead,” Emrick said in a press release. “I still get chills seeing the Stanley Cup. I especially love when the horn sounds, and one team has won and another team hasn’t, all hostility can dissolve into the timeless great display of sportsmanship – the handshake line. I leave you with sincere thanks.”

Tweet from @NHLonNBCSports: After 3,750+ Professional and Olympic hockey games, 100 different verbs used to describe a pass or shot, and 22 Stanley Cup Finals, the legendary Mike “Doc” Emrick has announced his retirement from broadcasting.From hockey fans around the world, we say #ThankYouDoc! pic.twitter.com/Pt27Dp63TW

Doc’s a hockey lifer, with over 50 years in game. Emrick’s NHL career included 21 years with the New Jersey Devils (1983-86, 93-2011), eight with the Philadelphia Flyers (1980-83, 88-93) and 24 years of national broadcasts for ESPN, ABC, FOX Sports and NBC. He’s been the voice of the NHL on NBC exclusively since 2011, allowing the whole country to enjoy his unique flair and style.

A Doc broadcast is unmistakably unique, as his verbose vocabulary is his calling card. If you think about a goalie’s blocker while eating waffles, you have Doc to thank for that. “Waffleboarded” might be one of his most well-known verbs, but with over 100 to describe shots and passes, (ladled comes to mind for a pass) there are certainly plenty more. Asked if he had any single call that stood out amongst the rest, Doc said there were just too many to count. He had an easier time highlighting the loudest building he’d been in, Nassau Coliseum.

“Inside Nassau coliseum, I never heard a louder ovation,” Emrick said on a conference call. “I can’t recall a louder ovation then when John Tavares scored an OT winner against Washington in the playoff series the Isles had there.”

Tweet from @brendanmburke: The top moment of my career at the time was Bailey���s OT GWG in the 2016 home opener (my 3rd #Isles game). It was a great goal and I felt really good about the call in my first big moment. And

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Education policy leaders from state Senate, House reflect on Epic Charter Schools audit findings | News

Outgoing Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, longtime chairman of the Senate Education Committee and author of most of the legislation that has allowed Epic to operate and expand, said he doesn’t believe there are any policy implications raised by the forensic audit findings.

“I have read the report and the State Auditor has not convinced me that additional legislation is warranted at this time. With the passage of (House Bill) 1395 there will be much more transparency concerning virtual charter schools. The audit did exactly what it was intended to do, find areas of weakness and allow the school to correct the deficiencies.”

The author of HB 1395, which took effect last year, said she questions whether specific concerns about Epic can be addressed by added transparency and accountability measures because she was dismayed to learn from the state audit report that Epic apparently didn’t comply with the new requirements set forth in that legislation.

Under HB 1395, charter school management organizations must now provide itemized, not estimated, expenditure information to ensure schools can account more fully for their use of taxpayer dollars. The state audit found that Epic Charter Schools did not provide an accurate accounting of actual costs for its for-profit charter school management company, Epic Youth Services.

“I am very disappointed that Epic Youth Services submitted estimates of expenditures after the coding requirements of HB1395 became law. But equally disappointing, is the fact that the State Department of Education accepted the estimates,” said HB 1395 author Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa. “According to the law relating to the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System, schools are required to submit actual costs not estimates.”

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Education policy leaders from state Senate, House reflect on Epic Charter Schools audit findings | Education

Sen. Joe Newhouse, R-Tulsa, and vice chair of the Senate education committee, had only tackled the audit’s executive summary so far but said he would be making time to study the full report in-depth.

“Rep. Sheila Dills (R-Tulsa) and I and many others have been on board from the beginning in promoting greater transparency for virtual charter schools. This report is only going to trigger greater response from the Legislature,” he said. “Some areas have been identified and we are going to make sure we tighten those screws.”

Newhouse said he champions school choice options for parents, including virtual charter schools, and has rooted for Epic to succeed, so “I think it’s a tragedy that the report found so many glaring mistakes and shortfalls.”

“When this organization was found to be owing the state roughly $9 million, not to mention it identified several shortcomings my constituents are very concerned about, it’s quite the dilemma because this charter school offers such a tremendous service in the pandemic,” Newhouse said. “I am hoping Epic can address these and put confidence back into their system. We are asking them to do right by the taxpayer and right by the families and teachers and students.”

Since the World asked lawmakers for their take on the state audit report, we also asked for their take on Epic’s response that State Auditor Cindy Byrd must be anti-charter school or anti-parent school choice.

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