Tuesday, July 12, 2016

ECOT Lawsuit Fails to Block Attendance Audit to Identify Phantom Students | janresseger

ECOT Lawsuit Fails to Block Attendance Audit to Identify Phantom Students | janresseger:

ECOT Lawsuit Fails to Block Attendance Audit to Identify Phantom Students


Everybody has suspected that Ohio’s Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, Ohio’s biggest charter school and one of the nation’s largest fully online charter schools, has been collecting tens of millions of tax dollars for years for educating phantom students. Yesterday ECOT lost in its attempt to block an Ohio Department of Education audit to confirm that it is actually educating all 15,000 students it says are enrolled. Yesterday morning this blog covered ECOT’s attempt last Friday to block the audit by filing a lawsuit.
A court hearing on ECOT’s lawsuit took place promptly yesterday, and yesterday afternoon Jim Siegel of the Columbus Dispatch reported: “Franklin County Judge Stephen McIntosh denied ECOT’s request for a temporary restraining order blocking the state from moving forward with its attendance audit that was scheduled to start today (Monday).  ECOT filed suit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court on Friday to block the Ohio Department of Education from poring through the online charter school’s attendance records…. School officials argue the department is improperly requiring the school to provide proof of student log-in hours to show students attended the state-minimum 920 hours of (annual) learning time.”
ECOT claims that its students should be given credit for hours of learning when they are not online, but the state is demanding documentation that students are logged in for five hours each day and actively using the online curriculum being provided by the school. ECOT claims that a 2003 contract agreement between the school and the Ohio Department of Education requires that to qualify for an annual per pupil reimbursement from the state, ECOT need merely provide five hours each day of learning opportunities, but not be required to demonstrate that students are actually using the curriculum.
Patrick O’Donnell of The Plain Dealer reports that ECOT also claimed in its lawsuit that, “the department had told online schools last year that it would start requiring more ECOT Lawsuit Fails to Block Attendance Audit to Identify Phantom Students | janresseger:
 
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