Court: Ohio can base e-school funding on participation data


COLUMBUS (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court says the state acted within its authority when it used student participation data, not just enrollment, to determine a giant online charter school should repay $60 million from one school year.

Today’s 4-2 ruling comes as the now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow remains of interest to prosecutors reviewing audit findings and politicians raising accountability issues in a midterm election year.

ECOT argued Ohio’s Department of Education overstepped its authority when relying on student learning time data. ECOT said it was treated wrongly and differently than brick-and-mortar schools.

The cash-strapped e-school was among the nation’s largest, with about 12,000 students, when it shut down in January after the state started recouping money.

A former employee alleges ECOT intentionally inflated attendance data. ECOT’s former spokesman dismissed those allegations.

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