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Ohio House Speaker Addresses ECOT Charter School Attendance Controversy


The Speaker of the Ohio House is in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. And while presidential politics are in the spotlight, he hasn’t been able to escape questions about the online charter school ECOT, which is refusing to turn over records on attendance of some 15,000 students to the Ohio Department of Education.


House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, who gave the keynote at ECOT’s graduation last month, seemed caught off guard at first when asked about the audit: “I guess I’m not familiar with….”

But when asked specifically if ECOT should provide student log-ins to the state to prove attendance, Rosenberger said he wants to look at what he called the whole situation.

“By the way, this is not just about ECOT. There are a lot of other schools that are involved with this attendance issue that we’ve been talking about that they need to kind of take a little bit of a step back and look at.”

ECOT takes in more than $100 million in state funds each year. Its lawsuit against the state claims ODE’s demand for student log-ins goes against the contract the agency signed with the e-school in 2003.

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.