Lawmakers Consider Defining a Full-Time Student Following the Battle over Millions in ECOT Funding

Dec 26, 2017

Some say the official definition would have prevented the ECOT lawsuit.

The Ohio House’s Education Committee will consider a bill in the new year to clear-up the state’s definition of a full-time equivalent student. The bill comes as the Ohio Supreme Court continues to consider the appeal of an online school over the issue.

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, filed an appeal with the court earlier this year after the state tried to recoup some of the school’s allotted funding. The state alleges it overpaid ECOT for the schooling of 9,000 more children than it could document.

Education and Career Readiness Committee Chair Andrew Brenner says that’s why his committee will look at a bill to clearly define a full-time equivalent student.

“I think had there been a proper definition, there wouldn’t have been a lawsuit filed."

Brenner says confusion over how student hours are documented isn’t just a problem for online charters like ECOT, but traditional public schools because they also offer some online classes for their students.