FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 06, 2018
Contact: Katherine Liming – 419-956-8196, email@example.com
Nearly $600 Million Dollars Went from Local School Districts to ECOT
The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) scandal grows bigger as new data shows that $591 million of taxpayer money went to the online charter school over local school districts. Today, Innovation Ohio (IO) released new data that shows the district-by-district breakdown of money each Ohio school district lost to ECOT since 2012.
“We are trying to figure out the scope and scale of this thing,” said Stephen Dyer, IO’s Education Policy Fellow, “and today we are releasing how much has been lost to ECOT in the past six years.”
This is another piece of the growing ECOT scandal that has effected taxpayers in every corner of the state. The numbers show that all but six of Ohio’s 613 school districts lost state funding to ECOT.
In a press conference, Dyer announced the launch of the website innovationohio.org/ecot, which aims to tell the full story of the ECOT scandal. On the website, viewers can see the taxpayer money their individual district lost to ECOT over the years.
Dyer was joined by local schools officials from across the state that gave testimony to the devastation ECOT has brought to their localities.
“Maple Heights has been able to stay away from asking for new tax dollars since 2003, but are rapidly approaching the time when we will have to go back to the tax payers,” said Robert Applebaum, treasurer of Maple Heights City Schools. “With an additional $3 million paid as restitution that ECOT owes us, we would be in a position not to go back to the tax payers for several more years.”
The press conference not only focused on ECOT’s impact on Ohio school districts, but also the impact it had on the children in these schools and ECOT’s own students.
“When the smoke cleared we were advised of half a dozen students that had still not come to us to register or registered in another school,” said George Wood, superintendent of Federal Hocking Local Schools. “In each case, after reaching out to the family, we found that these students had not been logged on to ECOT in recent memory and were vastly credit deficient. None of them returned to school.”
“Schools need to be for kids, not for profit,” said Richard Murray, executive director of Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools.
To see the money your school district lost to ECOT since 2012, visit innovationohio.org/ecot.
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Full press conference can be viewed on our Facebook page