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ECOT Refuses Education Department's Audit Request

ECOT/Ohio Dept. of Ed.

Ohio’s largest online charter school tried and failed to temporarily stop state officials from performing its attendance audit. But the education department says the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT, is refusing to hand over that information.

The Ohio Department of Education says it needs records of when ECOT’s students logged-in and -out of school every day.

ECOT consultant Neil Clark says those weren’t the standards laid out in a contract signed in 2002.

“Our attorneys are in the room and they’ve made it very clear that any information that the department of education asks outside of our contract that they will need to file other paperwork with the court and make a request to the court that we submit the other data,” Clark says.

Students are required to have 920 hours of instruction a year, which translates to a minimum of five hours a day. ODE claims in court filings that most students logged on for only one hour a day.

The case is expected to go to court within the next few weeks.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.