Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow

KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state says the now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) still owes tens of millions of dollars for students it didn’t have but was paid to educate. Last year, an audit of what was the state’s largest online charter school was turned over to the Franklin County Prosecutor and the federal government for possible criminal charges. 

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) requested a federal investigation into what happened at ECOT. So that’s stopped his work for now.

photo of ECOT sign
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

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.

Photo of Zach Space at the Akron Press Club
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU public radio

State auditor candidate Zack Space is detailing his plan to investigate the charter school scandal involving the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

Space says he would create the “Stop Charter Abuse and Malfeasance Unit,” which would investigate how much charter schools overbill taxpayers and how for-profit management companies spend the money.

photo of ECOT sign
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A progressive think tank says data from the Ohio Department of Education’s website shows not only how much state money went to the now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, but also how much traditional public school districts lost to what was the state’s largest online charter school.

photo of RTA blue line train
MICHAEL BARERA / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, May 23:

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