Report: Valley schools lost $24 million to ECOT online charter s - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Report: Valley schools lost $24 million to ECOT online charter school

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A new report claims that schools in Mahoning, Trumbull, and Columbiana counties lost more than $24 million over the course of six years to the online charter school known as ECOT. 

The report, released by a group called Innovation Ohio, claims nearly $600,000,000 went from Ohio schools in order to pay the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. 

A district by district breakdown shows $24 million of that money was lost by local school districts. 

According to Innovation Ohio's information, schools in Trumbull County lost more than $15 million, Mahoning County lost more than $8 million, and over $1 million came from Columbiana County school districts. 

During a press conference Wednesday, Innovation Ohio announced that over the course of six years, every district in the state, except for six lost state funding to ECOT. 

"We are trying to figure out the scope and scale of this thing," said Stephen Dyer, IO's Education Policy Fellow, "and today we are releasing how much has been lost to ECOT in the past six years."

ECOT abruptly closed doors earlier this year, after months of backlash and mounting investigations, leaving thousands of students in Ohio and some in the Valley scrambling to find new schools in order to finish the semester. 

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow or ECOT was the largest online school in Ohio and had 23,000 students.  All of the money that would normally follow those students to a brick and mortar school instead went to the e-school.

Last year, Ohio Auditor David Yost ordered an examination of every cyber school in the state to make sure the online schools are tracking the actual time's students are spent learning.

Following that audit, it was determined that ECOT owed the state nearly $80 million. From there the e-school lost its major sponsor and was forced to close doors. 

Innovation Ohio's report is the first to detail how much each district lost in funding from the state when money followed students to the online learning system. 

For some districts, the price was steeper than others. 

Warren City Schools were the most impacted in the Valley, losing more than $5 million over the six-year period. 

Youngstown City Schools followed, having lost $4.1 million in funding. Niles City Schools ($2 million), Newton Falls Exempted Village ($1.16 million), and Howland ($1 million) rounded out the top five Valley schools that lost the most money. 

The full list of Valley schoolS and how much they lost from 2012 until January 2018 can be found below:

Trumbull County Total $15,344,938

Bloomfield Mespo Local


Bristol Local


Brookfield Local                    


Champion Local                    


Girard City


Howland Local


Hubbard Exempted Village


Joseph Badger Local


LaBrae Local


Lakeview Local


Liberty Local


Lordstown Local


Mathews Local


Maplewood Local


McDonald Local


Newton Falls Exempted Village


Niles City


Southington Local


Warren City


Weathersfield Local


Mahoning County Total $8,007,748
Austintown Local $809,861
Boardman Local $420,796
Campbell City $491,417
Canfield Local $291,673
Jackson-Milton Local $94,145
Lowellville Local $21,233
Poland Local $171,740
Struthers City $522,033
Sebring Local $372,561
South Range Local $52,142
Springfield Local $115,946
West Branch Local $414,250
Western Reserve Local $54,635
Youngstown City $4,175,313
Columbiana County Total $1,300.621
Beaver Local $176,318
Columbiana Exempted Village $3,894
Crestview Local $104,146
East Liverpool City $213,237
East Palestine City $52,931
Leetonia Exempted Village $123,478
Lisbon Exempted Village $196,315
Salem City $186,141
Southern Local $97,913
United Local $83,169
Wellsville Local $63,079

More information about Innovation Ohio and their district-by-district breakdown can be found here.

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