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Government & Politics

Ohio's New House Speaker Backs a Bill to Study Funding for Online Charter Schools

photo of ECOT sign
Smith wants to create a group to study how to fund charter schools.

The new speaker of the Ohio House is citing a two-year-old study from a pro-charter school group slamming the performance of virtual charter schools. There may be changes coming in the laws that govern those online schools following the ECOT scandal.

In his first sit-down with reporters, Speaker Ryan Smith said a new bill would create a group to study how best to fund online charters.

“We need to be able to make sure that the children coming out of there are getting a quality education and hold them to a high standard. We don’t have results like we did at ECOT and any public school and if we did, we would take drastic action,” he said.

ECOT couldn’t pay back the tens of millions the state says it owed due to inflated attendance and closed in January.

Smith’s office distributed a National Alliance of Public Charter Schools’ report showing virtual charter students have weaker academic growth and the schools perform worse than traditional public schools in most states – and it calls for shutting down chronically low-performing virtual charters.