ECOT shutdown leaves 12,000 students looking for another school

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- One of the nation's largest online charter schools is closing abruptly halfway through the academic year.

That means families of the roughly 12,000 Ohio students from ECOT, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, are scrambling to arrange other schooling options.

The publicly funded e-school has been running out of money amid a legal dispute with the state. 

ECOT's closure shifted from a possibility to a reality when the required oversight entity known as its sponsor decided Thursday to suspend that arrangement.

ECOT says the state rejected a proposal from the e-school that was aimed at keeping it open through the spring.

In a statement on its Facebook page, ECOT says, "By rejecting an offer that would have allowed our current students to finish the year, Governor Kasich, State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, Diane Lease, and company showed they were more interested in settling a political score than in doing what’s best for students.”

Ohio's public school districts would have to accept any returning local ECOT students, but some families refuse to go back to those schools. Some are considering other virtual schools or homeschooling.

The Ohio Department of Education has a web page set up for families to find another school as well. That can be accessed by clicking here.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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