COLUMBUS – Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) hosted a news conference at the Ohio Statehouse on Monday as he introduced legislation to ensure any federal funds recovered from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) are returned to the school districts that lost them to ECOT in the first place, according to a press release from Brown’s office.
ECOT closed in January following examinations of mismanagement, which included inflated enrollment numbers.
Since 2000, ECOT has received more than $130 million in federal funding. Brown’s bill, the Putting Students First Act, would require any federal funds the U.S. government might recover from ECOT or other bad actors who misuse education funds be returned to Ohio’s students instead of the U.S. Treasury’s general fund.
“ECOT stole taxpayer dollars and cheated Ohio students,” said Brown. “That’s why I’m introducing legislation to return that money where it belongs – to Ohio students.”
In January, ECOT closed as it was being investigated by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio state school board for misclassifying student participation.
Following its closure, the school’s approximately 12,000 students had to find new schools, causing school districts around the state to scramble to provide education to the influx of students.