charter schools

Debbie Holmes

This is the second of a two-part story on the aftermath of ECOT's closure. Read part one here.

Beth Day, assistant principal of Washington High School, watches as students change classes in the main hallway. It’s a far cry from her nine years at the digital school ECOT.

ECOT founder Bill Lager speaks to the crowd of students, parents and teachers earlier this year.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Two public school districts say Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine shouldn’t handle the state’s lawsuit seeking to recover millions of dollars from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. The districts are asking a Franklin County court if they can take over the lawsuit against the now-closed online charter school.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Senator is weighing in on a state scandal – the one involving the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. Sherrod Brown, who is up for re-election this fall, is calling for federal money that went to that now-closed online charter school to be clawed back.

White Hat Management, the once-prolific Ohio charter school operator and early advocate for school choice in the state, is leaving the charter school business.

The company has been steadily losing contracts over the past few years in the competitive market.

Chad Aldis with the pro-charter research group Thomas B. Fordham Institute said the company’s exit is symbolic of the state’s charter school industry.

ECOT statehouse rally
Julie Carr Smyth / Associated Press

Ohio had authority to calculate a giant online charter school's funding using student participation data rather than only enrollment, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in the latest blow to the now-dismantled e-school.

Liberty Local Schools / Facebook

Of the 600-plus public school districts in Ohio, more than three-quarters have open enrollment policies. That means they accept and educate students who live outside of their district boundaries.

Kantele Franko / Associated Press

In their final sessions before summer break, the Ohio General Assembly sent two bills to the governor that attempt to clean up funding for the state’s online charter school system. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle believe this is an important step toward more transparency and accountability. 

ECOT statehouse rally
Julie Carr Smyth / Associated Press

A progressive think tank says data from the Ohio Department of Education’s website shows not only how much state money went to the now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, but also how much traditional public school districts lost to what was the state’s largest online charter school.

A charter school focused on LGBTQ students will be opening in Lakewood this fall.

Officials at Albert Einstein Academies of Ohio say they design their schools around the needs of the students who enroll. Recently, they’ve noticed an increase in the need for resources among LGBTQ students at their existing campuses in Westlake and Strongsville. Superintendent Bruce Thomas says the new high school will offer wrap-around services for students in Lakewood.

ECOT statehouse rally
Julie Carr Smyth / Associated Press

Republican candidates on this fall’s ballot are moving to distance themselves from the founder of ECOT, after reports of an FBI investigation for illegal campaign contributions and the release of a critical state audit, which could result in criminal charges.

ECOT founder Bill Lager speaks to the crowd of students, parents and teachers earlier this year.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost says ECOT, once the state’s largest online charter school, committed fraud by inflating student participation numbers in order to continue collecting millions in taxpayer money. Now Yost is turning over his findings about the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow for possible criminal investigation.

Kantele Franko / Associated Press

Ohio's then-largest online charter school may have broken the law by withholding information used in calculating payments and inflated the amount of time students spent learning by not deducting the time they were inactive online, the state auditor said Thursday.

As Ohio prepares to elect a new governor, Ohioans are also assessing the legacy Gov. John Kasich will leave after 8 years at the helm of the state, but in the world of education, leaders say it will take time before the success of Kasich’s reforms can be judged.

Here are three of those reforms and what policy analysts and education officials think about their impact on Ohio’s schools.

1. A-F School Grades

Wikipedia Commons

One of the state’s largest public school districts will no longer be allowed to sponsor charter schools.

ECOT teachers, staff, families and students rallied at the Statehouse in May 2017.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday considers what could be the final appeal by the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.

ECOT closed last month because of financial trouble related to having to repay tens of millions of dollars in funding it never should have received. The affects on tax payers have gotten most of the attention, but former ECOT teachers and students say they're the real victims.

Pages