Stephanie Dodd Votes to Hold ECOT Accountable to Taxpayers and Students

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COLUMBUS – Today, Stephanie Dodd, an elected member of Ohio’s State Board of Education and Senator Joe Schiavoni’s pick for Ohio Lieutenant Governor, voted in her capacity on the State Board to recoup nearly $20 Million ($19,234,109.11) from Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT).

ECOT had received the $19.2 Million overpayment during the 2016-2017 school year alone.

“Every dollar of unearned funding sent to ECOT was money that could have helped students at our local schools. It’s unacceptable that Ohio allowed these massive overpayments to go on for so long,” said Stephanie Dodd. 

“This is a perfect example of the critical need for an elected State Board of Education. We take action on pressing issues the legislative majority may be afraid to touch.”

Last year, Stephanie also voted to recoup $60 Million from the now-defunct online charter school for exaggerated student attendance over the previous year. Online charter schools are funded through Ohio’s education budget based on a Full Time Equivalency (FTE) calculation of student attendance.

Recent state audits have found that ECOT exaggerated student attendance by significant amounts, leading to tens of millions of dollars in overpayments from the state.

In recent weeks, there have been rumors around the Statehouse that Governor Kasich and Statehouse Republicans are working on a bill to remove all power from the state’s elected Board of Education and transfer control to the governor.

Joe Schiavoni and Stephanie Dodd strongly oppose this self-serving power grab and are calling instead for an all-elected State Board, which can act independently if the Governor and legislative branch fail to do so.

“I’m proud to be the only candidate for Ohio Governor or Lt. Governor who has voted to hold ECOT accountable, and I’m honored to be Joe Schiavoni’s running mate in the governor’s race. Joe has led the fight to hold these for-profit schools accountable in the legislature for years. It was Joe’s tireless perseverance that kept constant pressure on state officials to act,” Stephanie continued.

“Joe and I are proud to be the education ticket in this governor’s race. We will continue fighting until all Ohio students receive the quality education they deserve.”