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ODE Report Finds Fewer Than Half of ECOT Students Went To Class Full-Time

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The state education department says Ohio's largest online charter school severely over-reported how many students actually attended class full time. But the school says the state's report is a slap in the face to a pending court battle.

The state says only 40 percent of the more than 15,000 students enrolled at the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow spent enough time learning during the day to qualify as full-time students.

But ECOT consultant Neil Clark says it was childish of ODE to release that before this week's expected ruling from a judge hearing ECOT's challenge to the state's auditing process.

“They haven’t won anything. They’ve just irritated the process because they obviously must feel like they’re going to lose the court case so they want to do this action first,” said Clark.

Depending on what the judge decides, more than 60 percent of the $106 million in state funding sent to ECOT could be clawed back.

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.