Ohio Reaches Settlement With Former Sponsors of ECOT

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Attorney General announced a settlement Wednesday that would see nearly a million dollars returned to the state from ECOT.

The Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West has agreed to repay $879,000 to the state, representing all funds in question for sponsorship fees it received from ECOT. The money will go to a special master appointed by the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas to oversee ECOT’s remaining assets.

The now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) was found to have lacked documentation to substantiate student participation. The Ohio Board of Education ordered ECOT to repay $60 million based on the 2015-16 school year review, as well as another $19 million based on a review the following school year.

The governing board of Lake Erie West voted on Jan. 18, 2018, to suspend its sponsorship of ECOT, saying the school lacked the funds needed to continue operating. The school shut down the next day.

“Lake Erie West deserves credit for taking the high road in agreeing to this repayment,” Yost said. “Although there’s still a lot of work to do, this is a significant step toward paying down the substantial debt that ECOT owes. For perspective, these dollars could have paid for 15 teachers.”

According to the settlement, Lake Erie West will have until June 30, 2019 to repay the state.

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