Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate ODE's handling of ECOT's attendance records
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As of January 1st, 2018, over 12,000 students were enrolled in the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. Since 2016, the school has been embroiled in a legal battle with the State of Ohio, for unfair enforcement of attendance laws. The state contends that ECOT overstated its' enrollment, whereas many ECOT students attend school and do classwork outside of "traditional" school hours (8 a.m. - 3 p.m.). As a result, the school's sponsor was forced to suspend its' license, and as a result, ECOT was forced to shut its' doors on January 19, 2018, displacing 12,000 students; and overwhelming school districts across Ohio. A final deal was presented to the State for consideration, and the State declined this deal. The deal involved ECOT selling their 3700 South High Street headquarters in Columbus, and in exchange, being allowed to continue educating students through the rest of the 2017-2018 academic year.
Whereas, under Ohio law, charter schools can only operate in the eight largest districts in Ohio, or in districts that are declared under an "academic emergency", which causes many charter schools to reflect the demographics of these urban areas. This causes many within the state government and many opponents of school choice to call for a shut down of charter schools, ECOT included.
Whereas, the Ohio Department of Education changed its interpretation of state attendance law, which in turn overstepped its' authority.
Whereas, the State mishandled ECOT's attendance audit for many months before the closure.
Therefore, a special prosecutor is needed to investigate the wrongdoings of the Ohio Department of Education and the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.
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