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ECOT Sues State Education Department to Block Attendance Audit

Chad Aldis

The state’s largest and most controversial online charter school – the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT– has sued to block the state from a delayed attendance audit that was supposed to start on Monday. 

The lawsuit seeks to block the Department of Education from auditing ECOT based on questions about the process. The audit had been scheduled for February, then put off till mid-June, then set for Monday. Chad Aldis with the pro-school choice group the Fordham Institute says an extensive audit is important.

“I’m less worried about the time and more worried that whatever analysis is done is right, it’s helpful, it’s fair. So I’m willing to wait a little bit of time to make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed,” he said.

ECOT claims nearly 15,000 students are enrolled, which would make it larger than all but eight public school districts. ECOT could lose millions if the audit determined that fewer students are attending.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.