Charter School Critic Calls For State To Block ECOT Switch

Sep 1, 2017

A vocal critic of charter schools is asking the state to step in and block a major move by its largest online charter school. There’s concern that a planned switch to a new designation by the school could game the state out of taxpayer money.

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow wants to change from a typical charter school to a dropout recovery school. Because of the looser standards for the latter, ECOT could go from a failing grade to an “A” on its state report card.

Stephen Dyer with the liberal think tank Innovation Ohio says the education department should prevent this switch.

“It’s a naked attempt to avoid accountability it’s not because they suddenly decided after 20 years that ‘oh we’re really a dropout recovery school.’ No.”

The state is withholding money from ECOT's monthly payment to recover $60 million it was overpaid due to lower student participation. Dyer says the state should consider ECOT’s issues with enrollment and student participation while reviewing the proposed change.