The Ohio Supreme Court has likely dealt the final blow to what was the state’s largest online charter school, ruling the state could base funding for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow on student participation, not enrollment.
The ruling means the Ohio Department of Education can continue clawing back what started as $80 million from ECOT. The state says that’s money ECOT received for students who weren’t participating in class.
During oral arguments in February, ECOT’s Attorney Marion Little the state should be basing funding off of enrollment numbers. That led to this exchange with Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor.
“Even if a student does not attend ECOT is still entitled to the full per capita,” O'Connor asked.
“That would be the testimony of all witnesses on the enrollment methodology,” Little responded.
O'Connor replied, “Ok let me ask you, stop. How is that not absurd?”
The state is still trying to get about $60 million from ECOT, possibly through the assets of ECOT’s founder Bill Lager.