ECOT online charter school says it may close within months

Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow says the closure would affect almost 12,000 students and eliminate 800 jobs

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COLUMBUS (AP) — One of the nation’s largest online charter schools says it will close within four months, in the middle of the school year, if Ohio’s efforts to recoup $60 million or more in disputed funding aren’t halted.

In a new court filing, attorneys for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow say the closure would affect almost 12,000 students and eliminate 800 jobs. ECOT’s lawyers are asking the Ohio Supreme Court to block the state from clawing back funding until the case is settled or to expedite hearing the case before the potential closure.

ECOT is challenging how the Ohio Department of Education tallied student logins to determine that ECOT should repay $60 million from 2015-16.

The state says ECOT could owe nearly $20 million more from 2016-17, though ECOT can appeal that finding.

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