Parents in middle of legal fight between online school and state


More than 15,000 students and their families are in the middle of a legal fight over paperwork and they might not even know it.

The legal fight is between the Ohio Department of Education and the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT.

ECOT teachers currently fill out a teacher’s certification form to validate student's online attendance once a year. But the state is saying parents need to fill out a student participation form once a month.

ECOT said they disagree so much that it's taking the state to court.

One ECOT parent tells us this fight is jeopardizing the education of children.

“Well, it's scary," Vicki Rousch, parent of a 10th grade ECOT student, said. "I would say to find some kind of common ground.”

The legal fight started in March when Ohio Department of Education got refunds from another online charter school after they had problems proving students were actually attending classes.

The state then went to ECOT and asked to see monthly records showing not only when students log-in to online classes, but also when they log-out.

An ECOT spokesperson tells 10 Investigates the charter school refused the request and added that while they have the data, nothing in state law said they have to hand it over.

ECOT is saying that if the state wins, they may offer fewer classes in Ohio. They’re holding a board meeting 6:30 p.m. at their head office on 3700 S. High St. in Columbus. Parents are invited to attend.