ECOT Supporters Say There's Still Time to Save School

Jan 23, 2018

Rep. Andrew Brenner, Andy Thompson and Chris Long at a press conference about ECOT.
Credit KAREN KASLER / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Supporters of the now closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow say the past few days have been devastating for students, families, and teachers. The online charter school closed because its sponsor voted to drop them. But there are school and state officials who are holding out hope.

ECOT has asked its sponsor to rethink its decision to pull its charter. Lake Erie West backed out because ECOT would likely run out of money by June. The state has been collecting $60 million to make up for students ECOT charged for but couldn’t verify.

But Republican Rep. Andrew Brenner argues the state can keep ECOT accountable and open. 

“If it’s about the dollars, then why are they clawing all the money back immediately in order to shut the school down in the middle of the school year knowing that it probably won’t come back?”

ECOT’s monthly checks from the state have been reduced by $2.5 million. ECOT’s asked for that to be cut back to $1.7 million.

ECOT Founder Bill Lager a big fundraiser for Republican candidates for the Ohio Legislature and statewide offices. Part of the offer was for ECOT to cut ties with Lager and to no longer pay his education operations vendor, Altair Management.