COLUMBUS - Today, Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) released the following statement after the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) found in their final review that the Electronic Classroom Of Tomorrow (ECOT) exaggerated student attendance by nearly 60%. This finding could potentially mean ECOT owes upwards of $60 million in funding back to the state.

“This attendance review proves beyond any doubt that ECOT has been ripping off taxpayers and cheating students out of a proper education. Senate Democrats have been sounding the alarm for many months that ECOT needs to be held accountable, and today’s news confirms what we have been saying is true.

“Clearly the General Assembly has failed to provide enough oversight of online charter schools to prevent this from happening. We, as a legislature, must do more to make sure students at online schools are logging in and learning so they can graduate.  That’s why we should pass Senate Bill 298 and other charter school bills introduced by Democrats in both the House and Senate.

“It is time for ECOT to drop its lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Education.  No more tax dollars should be wasted on high priced lawyers and lobbyists and on television ads that attack ODE for doing its job.  And ECOT should pay back the money it owes the state immediately.”

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