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Ohio Judge Sides with Department of Education in ECOT Case

photo of ECOT and Ohio Department of Education logos

A Franklin County judge has dealt a serious blow to the state's largest online charter school and siding with the Ohio Department of Education.

The judge says the state can to try to recover some of the more than $100 million it paid to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

ECOT had sued to stop the state from going forward with its attendance audit - the e-school said that using student logins for attendance violated its contract with the state.

While both sides waited for the judge to decide, earlier this week the state released its audit findings, which showed ECOT had only around 6,300 full time students – not more than 15,000, as ECOT had claimed.

This could mean that ECOT might have to be forced to give back as much as $63 million, though the school has other avenues to appeal the decision. 

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.