Fact Check

EPIC AND SCHOOL FUNDING

FALSE CLAIM: EPIC schools, a source of Stitt campaign donations, misused millions of taxpayer dollars with little accountability. 

FACT CHECK: As highlighted by The Frontier, Joy Hofmeister is ranked first among elected officials who have received donations from Epic backers – a total of $52,138 to Hofmeister. In fact, Epic employees donated 4 times as much to Joy’s campaign than to Stitt’s campaign in 2018. 

From 2016 to 2018, Joy Hofmeister repaid herself $22,000 towards debt from prior campaigns. This included a $3,000 loan repayment the day after she took $2,700 from Epic CFO Josh Brock (May 2018), and another $4,000 loan repayment was made in with a week of taking another $2,700 from Brock (October 2018).

Brock never donated to Kevin Stitt.


When State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister was taking these donations, Hofmeister and her agency were simultaneously considering an application by Epic Charter’s administrators to expand their operations in Oklahoma. Her turning a blind eye mimics that of her track record in 2015 when she ignored federal Epic investigations, according to Oklahoma Watch

Governor Kevin Stitt was sworn in on January 2019, and he became the first statewide elected official to call for a forensic audit of Epic, which resulted in the study produced by State Auditor Cindy Byrd.

The Governor has 1 appointment on a 5-person board that provides regulatory oversight of virtual charter public schools. The Governor replaced Mary Fallin’s appointment, John Harrington, in November 2020 after Harrington’s term expired. Governor Stitt’s new board member voted to remove two other board members with ties to Epic, a conflict of interest. Following this action, the board delivered a solution that fully replaced Epic’s governing board and put its non-profit funds into a transparent bank account.

.001% of Kevin Stitt’s donations in 2018 came from EPIC employees. Kevin Stitt is the only candidate in this race that has returned all Epic donations from his campaigns, which he did by donating the $10,800 to a school in Tulsa.

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