EDITOR’S NOTE: The EPIC News Network is a journalism program sponsored by EPIC Charter Schools. This editorial is written by ENN’s student journalist editorial board.
This week the Community Strategies Inc. board, which oversees EPIC Charter Schools, voted to make its Learning Fund a public, school-run account rather than an account operated by the private company which manages the school.
That move makes the Learning Fund and its records public.
As students of EPIC Charter Schools we think this move to public oversight is a good idea. It will save the school from future controversies; however this move should have been done prior to this point because it could have prevented many of the accusations that have been leveled at the district.
The Learning Fund is often misinterpreted as ‘free money,’ when in actuality the goal is to level the playing field between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds. The fund is unique to EPIC. It provides students from all walks of life with the ability to pursue what they’re interested in, within the confines of the education system.
As opposed to brick and mortar schools where the school chooses the curriculum, EPIC’s Learning Fund allows students to choose it on their own. This gives them a choice on how they learn and is more flexible for each individual’s needs.
Some students struggle with the traditional ways of school. But the Learning Fund has helped so many students find an easier way to learn the same things you would learn in a brick and mortar school.
The Learning Fund helps students get new computers and other technology, including wireless internet. In addition, the Learning Fund allows students to have a choice of curriculums and teachers. In some brick and mortar schools students had to purchase these supplies.
The Learning Fund has allowed students to get into Esports, a gaming tournament platform that usually is only for college students. At EPIC, some students get on a team that people make and get sponsorships to actually make the events. Esports is a growing industry and provides the participants with a wide range of opportunities for their future.
The Learning Fund is a great way to provide students with the necessary supplies for school while also providing money to pay for extra curricular activities. It has also helped students with a wide variety of problems and given them freedom and flexibility that brick and mortar schools lack.
Going public will give the fund transparency, which will help stop the unnecessary criticism of a program that is designed to help students, and allow Epic’s full attention to return to its rightful place, the education of students across Oklahoma. This move will also allow the school to invest the time and money spent on legal challenges back into the education of students.
Going forward, making the Learning Fund transparent should help put to rest any rumors and unnecessary criticism Epic has faced and allow the school to focus on providing students with an education that can fit their needs. Today, steps are being taken to ensure financial transparency of Epic’s learning fund in hopes of putting the criticism of our charter school to rest.