Schiavoni, Dodd Call on Franklin Co. Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to Investigate ECOT

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COLUMBUS – Today Senator Joe Schiavoni and State Board of Education Member Stephanie Dodd, candidates for Ohio Governor and Lt. Governor, held a press conference to call on Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to open an immediate criminal investigation into Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT).

“People are starting to connect the dots when it comes to ECOT. This is a moneymaking scheme, and people are finally starting to see it,” said Senator Schiavoni.

“Now we have to make sure that just because you resign, or just because you close down, it doesn’t mean you’re free from obligations or criminal implications from previous activity.”

Stephanie also shared more information about her conversations with the ECOT whistleblower. Watch the full press conference here.

This whistleblower has made some significant claims that seem to have value behind them. He seems to know a lot of details about this complex issue. That’s why it’s critical at this point to open up an investigation into ECOT’s activities,” said Stephanie Dodd.

Joe and Stephanie called for a criminal investigation into Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) yesterday, after the AP publicized the existence of communications between a whistleblower and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).

Senator Schiavoni started digging into online charter schools back in 2015, when failing e-school grades were not included in sponsor ratings.

Joe’s research led him first to smaller e-schools like Provost Academy, then to ECOT, prompting a years-long fight to pass legislation that would create accountability for online charter schools.

Stephanie Dodd has taken two votes on the State Board of Education to require ECOT to return the money it owes to taxpayers. She also led her colleagues on the State Board of Education in calling for an independent investigation into the charter school department at ODE in 2015.

Senator Schiavoni’s bill to better regulate online charter schools, SB 39 (previously SB 298), is currently held up in the Ohio Senate Education Committee.

**Please Note: The Ohio Senate has recently launched a new website, and links to old press releases may no longer be functional. If you discover this issue, please contact Rachel Coyle (RCoyle@JoeForOhio.com) to request updated versions of these links.**