An estimated 12,000 students must figure out where to go now that the state’s largest online charter school has closed. Marred by budget problems and alleged failure to comply with regulations, ECOT’s sponsor decided to back out. And the sponsor and the school met in a Franklin County courtroom to figure out what happens to the school’s funds and records.
Instead of a hearing, the judge had ECOT and its former sponsor, Lake Erie West, go into mediation. As John Borell with Lake Erie West explains, they came up with a tentative agreement.
“We’ll have an interim master appointed to take control of ECOT’s assets in the short term while the supreme court’s appeals are pending and we’ll also supervise the procedure the ODE has in place for a suspended school,” said Borell.
ODE being the Ohio Department of Education. Arguments on ECOT’s case with the Ohio Supreme Court are set next month.
Borell says ECOT is already working on transferring student records to different school districts.
The state education department released a list of answers to what parents and students may be asking with ECOT's closure.
School districts around the state are preparing for an increase of students. Columbus City Schools for example is planning to enroll about 1,200 new students coming over from ECOT.
The master would ultimately answer to the county judge presiding over this case.