“EPIC’s initial funding for this school year was based on our 2019-2020 school year enrollment. Our enrollment doubled for the 2020-2021 school year. This means for the entire first semester of this school year, EPIC educated students with only half the state funding required to adequately do so. That is why our Board of Education had to approve taking out loans to get us to midyear. Our midyear funding is calculated by the State Department of Education in accordance with state law and simply provides EPIC with the per pupil funding required for its student population. The midyear adjustment is not extra funding for us, and it would be the same scenario for any public school in Oklahoma that doubled in size in one school year.

Moreover, EPIC still ranks at the bottom of the state in its overall per pupil funding because we receive absolutely no local funding, which comprises about 30 percent of a traditional school district’s overall funding. Our average per pupil funding is $6,478, compared to the state average of $9,398. Student funding discussions are important and timely; policy makers will have to decide whether future funding should be dedicated to building costs or whether it should truly follow the students – no matter which public school they choose.”

EPIC Superintendent Bart Banfield