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Ohio Wins Its Fight to Force Charter School ECOT to Hand Over Data

ECOT and Ohio Department of Education logos
ECOT OHIO AND OHIO DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The state’s education department won a major battle over the attendance fight with ECOT, Ohio’s largest online charter school. 

A judge says ECOT must hand over the log-in information of its 15,000 students in order for ODE to conduct its attendance audit.

ECOT’s Neil Clark says log-in data is not an accurate way to tally student instruction per day.

“Other than the fact that there were log-in/log-outs, it has nothing to do as the auditor has said, it has nothing to do with whether or not the student was offline working,” Clark said.

The state wants to determine if ECOT has earned the more than $100 million in state funding allotted for last year. State law says students must receive at least five hours of instruction a day. A preliminary audit found most students at ECOT were only online about one hour a day.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.