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