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Education

Ohio Lawmaker Defends Release of Report Critical of Online Charter

photo of Peggy Lehner
KAREN KASLER
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

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.

ECOT argues that it was “childish” of the Ohio Department of Education to release that report before a judge could rule on a pending court case on the attendance audit process.

But Republican Senator Peggy Lehner of Kettering says the state needs to know ECOT’s numbers.

“At some point you have to say they’re protesting too much. Just show us the work. That’s all we care about, is that kids are being educated.”

ECOT received $106 million from the state last year, and as much as $63 million could be clawed back.