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ECOT Critics Says School Should Point Blame On Itself

Daniel Konik

Thousands of students are either starting in a new school or still looking for a place to take classes after the closure of the state’s largest online charter school. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is still fighting the state’s clawback of $60 million and blames the state Department of Education for its fate. But one vocal critic says ECOT only has itself to blame.

ECOT says it closed because the Ohio Department of Education wouldn’t accept a final deal regarding the collection of millions of dollars.

Longtime ECOT critic Stephen Dyer with Innovation Ohio has said for years that the online charter school was falling short in educating the amount of kids it claimed it was teaching.

But in reality, Dyer says ECOT closed because it could no longer pay its sponsor, Lake Erie West.

“It is frustrating the failure of the school has had on educating the kids was not what necessitated the closure it was the failure of this school to pay the adults that were supposed to oversee them," Dyer says.

ECOT says it can reopen if it wins its Supreme Court case next month which argues that the education department imposed attendance regulations retroactively. 

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.