School Board Votes To Have ECOT Return State Money
Ohio's largest online charter school operator has promised to continue its fight with the Ohio Department of Education. But the Ohio Board of Education on Monday voted to require the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow to return 60 million dollars in overpayments for students it could not prove were enrolled full time. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.
The board voted to accept the findings of an Ohio Department of Education hearing officer, who determined ECOT inflated its full time enrollment by 9,000 when it received $108 million in state funding last year. Board member Stephanie Dodd says the money needs to be returned.
“It’s an overpayment, and I think it’s an unfortunate misuse of dollars and I think it’s best for it to be returned and for us to decide what to do with those dollars in the future.”
One board member abstained, and another later attempted to change her vote to approve the $60 million repayment. Seven ECOT supporters were allowed to make comments to the board after the vote, and praised the flexibility the school offers and criticized the vote as unfair.