Settlement reached with former ECOT sponsor

On Wednesday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced a settlement with the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, the former charter school sponsor of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). The sponsor has agreed to repay $879,000 as a result of overpayments received by ECOT. According to Yost, “Lake Erie West deserves credit for taking the high road in agreeing to this repayment. This is a significant step toward paying down the substantial debt that ECOT owes.” You can find coverage of the mutual resolution in the Dispatch and Toledo Blade.

 Ohio Connections Academy recognizes 2019 graduates

More than 380 students graduated from Ohio Connections Academy this year, and about 220 of them traveled to Columbus last week to participate in the school’s commencement ceremony. More than half of the school’s 2019 graduating class has indicated that they plan to attend two or four-year colleges, and more than 130 students graduated with honors. The class’ valedictorian, Jacob Meadows, speaking at commencement said, “because of the unique features of the online program, I was able to access college courses while still having a high school career. I am confident moving forward into the next season of academia, in part, because of my experiences with OCA."

Charter Schools Are Public Schools, But Do They Serve The Public Interest?

The Line recently published an interesting essay by Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and Jeanne Allen, founder and CEO of the Center for Education Reform. The two charter school champions clearly articulate their beliefs in public school choice, while at the same time highlighting their respective views on some of today’s hot button charter school issues.

Legislative update

The House and Senate Education Committees both met this week. The House heard testimony on bills that deal with reducing testing, school security, transferring records, and the right of first refusal for unused district school buildings (which would directly affect charter schools). The Senate met to discuss a potential amendment to HB 166 on academic distress commissions. You can access testimony from the House here and from the Senate here.

Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities

The United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is now accepting applications for new awards for their Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program. These grants are meant to improve results for children with disabilities by supporting educational activities, captioning and video description, and improved access to educational materials. Charters that operate as their own LEAs are eligible to apply. Applications are due by July 22.

Policy Priority:

Chad Aldis is the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy. In this role, Chad plans and leads Fordham’s Ohio policy, advocacy, and research agenda . He represents the Institute in its work with the media, state and local policy makers, other education reform groups, and the public.

Chad has a strong background in Ohio education policy work having previously served as the…

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Madison Yoder was the communications and policy associate for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Prior to joining Fordham, she served as the communications specialist for an Ohio coalition dedicated to supporting high standards for all Ohio students, regardless of zip codes.

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