State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today responded to Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West’s announcement of suspending operations at Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) and urges the House Education and Career Readiness Committee to begin hearings on House Bill (HB) 418, which establishes a statutory requirement for schools to transfer student records upon request.
“Although I do not support ECOT’s fraudulent reporting methods or its significant misappropriation of taxpayer dollars, I cannot help but be heartbroken for the thousands of students impacted by this decision,” said Galonski. “Ohio’s children deserve an equal opportunity to receive a quality education, and now it is our job to make sure that these students are taken care of.”
Legislation recently referred to the House Education and Career Readiness Committee would expedite the process of transferring student records. House Bill (HB) 418, introduced by Rep. Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati), would require public and private schools to turn over student transfer records to the student’s new school within five days of the request.
“Given the urgent situation these ECOT students and families are in, I am hopeful that Chairman Brenner will see the timeliness of HB 418 and quickly push it through committee,” Galonski said.
The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) has been court-ordered to pay back $80 million in overpayments to the state due to misreporting their active enrollment numbers. Unable to make the payment, the charter school’s sponsor, the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, unanimously voted on Thursday to close the school.
The Ohio Department of Education has also updated its resources in order to assist students and teachers through the transitioning process. Students and their families can view a list of pertinent frequently asked questions and a county specific list of schools where students can enroll on the Department of Education’s website at http://education.ohio.gov/.
Galonski represents Ohio’s 35th district, which is comprised of parts of Akron and Barberton.