ECOT's Attempt To Halt Attendance Audit Fails In Court

Jul 12, 2016

The largest online charter school in the state took the Ohio Department of Education to court today, and lost, as a judge ruled the state’s audit of attendance records can go forward.

A Franklin County Judge denied a temporary restraining order that Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow or ECOT had requested to keep the state from performing an audit that school representatives say could shut them down. At issue is how many hours actually equal student learning time. A traditional in-person student spends about 5 hours at school—online charter students are expected to do the same.  Those hours help calculate attendance for both types of schools. State Board of Education President Tom Gunlock says schools need a single standard.  "Either you’re in school or not in school. So, it’s kind of hard to learn if you’re not actually in it."

The online school could lose millions in state funding if the state determines they have less than the 15 thousand students they claim to have enrolled.  The audit has been postponed twice prior to the lawsuit.