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Stephen Dyer · June 6, 2018

ECOT’s Cost to Ohio Local Schools

Prior to its closure, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) received state tax dollars the same way as all Ohio charter schools  — by deducting state aid from the local public school district where the ECOT student lives. Since the 2012-2013 school year, ECOT collected $590 million in taxpayer funding from all but 6 of Ohio’s 613 school districts. Included in that $590 million was the $87 million the school was slated to receive this school year before closing in January.

 

Using data from the Ohio Department of Education, we have compiled a spreadsheet showing what state revenue local school districts lost to ECOT each year since 2012-2013, including how much they were set to lose this year prior to the school’s closing.

Here are a few points about how the deductions shook out overall:

  • Columbus City Schools accounted for more than 10 percent of ECOT’s funding, even though last year the district outperformed ECOT on more state report card measures.
  • While $286 million transferred to ECOT came from urban districts, the next highest amount came from districts listed as low-poverty suburban districts.
  • Rural and small town school districts lost $198 million to ECOT
  • By contrast, the state’s wealthiest, highest performing school districts lost $27.2 million to ECOT
  • Schools in generally affluent Butler County lost $19 million to ECOT, which was about the same as Akron’s Summit County. Butler lost more than all but six of Ohio’s 88 counties



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