Students rally against proposed state demands for online schools

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Parents, students and supporters of ECOT (Education Classroom of Tomorrow) rallied inside the Statehouse Wednesday. They say the state’s proposed demands for online learning schools are unfair.

 

State lawmakers introduced a bill today that would place strict attendance and regulation policies on electronic schools.

 

“It is not about trying to punish electronic schools, but simply put some rules and regulations in place so everybody knows the playing field so we can give kids the best education,” said Senate Minority Leader, Joseph Schiavoni. 

 

The bill addresses how a child’s attendance is tracked, mandated broadcasted school board meetings, and how children are engaging in their class work.

 

“Through a computer screen you can’t do that and so we have to have some safe guards in place showing that a kid is actually learning and engaged throughout the day. And that would be checked off by a teacher,” said Schiavoni. 

 

“ECOT is all about flexibility and this kinds of restricts us from having that flexibility,” said Celiah Aker, 9th Grade ECOT student. 

 

Students like Aker says rules like this are not why students choice to enroll in electronic schools.

 

“We are allowed to do our work whenever we have the time and the ODE rule restricts us from doing that,” said Aker.

 

ECOT, along with 7 of the electronic schools in the state, filed an appeal with the DOE after an audit found that ECOT had inflated their attendance. 

 

“What we are asking for is for some fairness, time to prepare. To do a retroactive call back we think is unfair,” said ECOT Superintendent, Rick Teeters.  

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