October 23, 2016   School Closings
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How education is funded and how that money is spent.

Senator Defends Education Department's ECOT Attendance Report

Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 4:17 PM

by Andy Chow

The state’s largest online charter school is crying foul after the education department released a report showing it fell short of its estimated attendance by more than 50%. But a top education lawmaker says Ohio taxpayers deserve to know what their money is going towards. 

A review of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow found that more than half of the students enrolled in the school didn’t do enough work to qualify as full time.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown Says the New Rules on Charter Schools Will Lead to Greater Transparency

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 5:29 PM

by Kabir Bhatia

The U.S. Department of Education is implementing new rules on charter schools, many of which were suggested by a delegation of Ohio lawmakers. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced the Charter School Accountability Act last year, saying it would strengthen transparency, and increase community involvement for Ohio's 123,000 charter school students.  The new rules require independent financial audits, as well as a public database of academic and financial performance.

ECOT Fights To Halt Further Action By Education Department In Attendance Fight

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 6:30 AM

by Andy Chow

The state of Ohio and its largest e-school went head-to-head in court Monday over what’s required to provide education to students. 

ECOT wants a judge to halt any consequences stemming from a recent attendance audit by the Ohio Department of Education while the two sides fight over the bigger issue of what constitutes student instruction and learning opportunities.

ODE has completed what’s known as an FTE review, which measures how much instruction students received during the school year.

Advisory Group to Examine Student Loan Debt Collection

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 5:38 PM

by Kevin Niedermier

Later this month a newly formed Ohio Attorney General’s advisory group will meet to start examining the issue of student loan debt collection.             

The Ohio attorney general is obligated to collect unpaid student debts at the public universities. The advisory group will make sure the issue is being handled uniformly at all universities, and that students are better educated on how student loans work.  

More Online Charter Schools Struggle To Keep Track Of Student Learning Hours

Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 5:12 PM

by Andy Chow

A look at several online charter school attendance reviews reveal that more e-schools might be either unable or unwilling to meet the standards the state has set to prove students are learning. 

For weeks, the state has been battling with its largest online charter school, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow or ECOT, over how it records the number of hours its more than 15,000 students spend learning. Those hours are critical to the funding of ECOT and all charter schools.

ECOT Student Defends School And Unconventional Instruction Structure

Sunday, August 28, 2016 at 5:47 PM

by Andy Chow

The state and its largest online charter school are locked in a dispute over how to prove it’s providing an education to its more than 15,000 students. That fight is not just playing out in court but through TV, radio and web ads featuring a student defense.

ECOT has been trying to make its case in the court of public opinion by hitting the airwaves with commercials that feature struggling students, such as Gabriel Young.

“I’ve been in and out of foster care. I was adopted for seven years and then put back.”

Secretary of Education King Talks College Affordability in Cleveland

Monday, August 22, 2016 at 11:27 AM

by Mark Urycki

The U.S. Secretary of Education visited Cleveland Friday to highlight successes at Cuyahoga Community College. He has high hopes for President Obama’s proposal to offer free tuition at community colleges, but not everyone is so optimistic.

State Takes Back $12 Million in Preschool Funding

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 5:47 PM

by Jo Ingles

Changes in the rules involving preschool funding in Ohio have caught the attention of a state lawmaker.

Democratic State Representative Teresa Fedor says more than 3,900 Ohio preschoolers will be affected by a new rule that says state funded schools cannot get federal funding through Head Start – which means those schools will lose $12 million state dollars.

“This is not good government. This is not good oversight. It is the worst thing I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of worse things,” says Fedor.

Yost Blasts Cleveland Schools for Missing Rebates

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 9:31 AM

by Karen Kasler

The state auditor has harsh words for the Cleveland schools in an audit over the district’s failure to cash in one millions in technology rebates.

Auditor Dave Yost reviewed the Cleveland school district’s records after it lost on $8.4 million in federal rebates it had already qualified for but lost out on for missing deadlines to apply.  Yost says a combination of weak policy and bad communication led to a breakdown in the process.

“At the end of the day, this is not a criminal problem, it’s a stupidity problem,” says Yost.

Cleveland Teachers Union Gives Strike Notice

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 5:53 PM

by Michelle Faust

Teachers at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will strike starting September first, unless the district and the union can come to an eleventh hour deal. The Cleveland Teacher’s Union on Monday night voted to authorize a strike.

The breakdown in negotiations stems from a disagreement with the way CMSD teachers are evaluated.

Based on rules in The Cleveland Plan (a 2012 law to reform the city’s schools), teachers’ pay is linked to performance.