Communications & Public Affairs
July 23, 2019

Contact: State Rep. Andy Fugate
Phone: (405) 557-7370

Fugate Says “Boo!” to OCPA Blog About “Ghost Students”

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Andy Fugate (D-Del City) issued the following statement in response to a blog on the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs website:

“I do not know what the OSBI’s final report will show or what an audit from the State Auditor will show regarding the allegations made against Epic Charter Schools. I will reserve my judgement for when the investigations are complete and we have a final report.

“That being said, I am disappointed the OCPA is attempting to confuse the public with misleading information when they should be calling for a full accounting and improved transparency,” said Fugate. “In a recent blog, the OCPA claims that districts across this state have ‘ghost students’ due to the state funding formula, and that’s just a blatant misrepresentation of how the state funding formula counts students.

“The formula includes a multi-year count of students to handle yearly fluctuations in district attendance. This is sensible when working with budgetary estimates and is no different than the multi-year calculation the legislature created for GPT contributions to the budget reserve fund created in 2016. Nobody has referred to that as ‘ghost GPT.’ This is just a ridiculous assertion by the OCPA.

“What is alleged with Epic is that they intentionally and aggressively created an environment that created ‘ghost students,’ which allowed them to fraudulently make more money. Money that comes from taxpayers.

“It is more than interesting that an organization like the OCPA, which claims to pride itself on protecting taxpayers, would be so disinterested in finding out if and how this happened.”