Former teachers at for-profit Epic charter chain claim they were compelled to inflate enrollment. Charter spokesperson denies it.

Administrators at Epic Charter Schools have been allowing, encouraging or pressuring teachers to manipulate students’ enrollment for years in order to improve employees’ bonus pay, according to at least seven former teachers.

Four of the teachers allege the practices in legal notices stating they intend to sue Epic after being terminated last year. Three others made similar claims in interviews with Oklahoma Watch.

Teacher bonuses were dangled like “a carrot” and used to push for withdrawals of low-performing students, the teachers said.

If those students rejoined the virtual school’s rolls, they were still considered a part-year student and weren’t included in accountability measures like the school report cards released in February. Students who enroll late are also part-year.