Ohio Dept. Of Ed. Counters State Auditor In ECOT Allegations

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Ohio Department of Education is pushing back against the state auditor’s suggestions that it accepted “watered down” information from the state’s then-largest online charter school.

Spokeswoman Brittany Halpin said Thursday that “no one has held the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow more accountable” for students’ education than the Department of Education.

Republican Auditor Dave Yost questioned the department’s role while releasing an audit Thursday that found ECOT inflated the amount of time students spent learning by failing to deduct the time students were inactive online. Yost has referred his findings to prosecutors.

Halpin says the Education Department has fought to recoup nearly $80 million in undeserved payments by ECOT. She says it’s well-documented that the department “repeatedly questioned and subsequently rejected” portions of the data submitted by the now-shuttered e-school.