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Ohio's Largest Online Charter Continues Its Battle to Hold Onto State Funding

photo of ECOT vs. ODE hearing
Attorneys representing ECOT and the Ohio Department of Education gather in Columbus to argue an appeal hearing.

The state’s largest online charter school is fighting to keep up to $60 million that it could lose because of an enrollment audit that the school argues was improperly conducted by the state.



The state’s audit found that the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, only had about 40 percent of the full-time students enrolled than it reported.


But the online charter school maintains the state unfairly changed the way it counts full-time students and penalized ECOT. 


“They effectively want a time watch, tracking literally every minute of what a student is doing, not every hour, not every day, every minute," Attorney Marion Little told a hearing officer. ECOT is the first of seven on-line schools appealing the standards and has also approached lawmakers to try to change the state policy.


The hearing is expected to take a few days. Meanwhile, ECOT has a similar argument in a court case against the state.

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.