The central argument in the ECOT lawsuit attempting to block the Ohio Department of Education from auditing the charter school’s attendance is the claim that ECOT is not required to track login information for the students, but is simply required to “offer” students opportunities to log in and learn.

The school claims that an old contract with ODE stipulates this requirement for funding purposes.  The school’s contract with their sponsor, however, contains language that states that ECOT’s attendance policy is that students will be engaged in learning for five hours per day and five days per week, meaning that the school is accountable to its sponsor to follow these rules.

An ECOT teacher posted a video online welcoming her new students to the school that, among other things, explains ECOT’s attendance policy:

At 3:54 of the video, the teacher states:

ECOT policy is to work five hours a day, five days a week . . . you just need to remember that you need to work at least 25 hours a week.”

As ECOT’s stated attendance policy (since at least 2009 per the video), then this student engagement should be tracked by the school and used to justify their attendance for funding purposes.

Whether the student work is completed while logged in or tracked by a teacher in terms of duration, ECOT clearly should have such documentation available as evidence of student enrollment and attendance.