Charter school failure could be largest in state history

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 3:27 PM


Parents of more than 1,000 students across the region are scrambling to find new schools for their children just days away from what could be the largest charter school failure in state history.

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, an online school, notified parents this week they could suspend operations Jan. 19 as they work out issues with their sponsor, Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West.

The sponsor has said ECOT’s finances won’t keep it open through the school year considering a ruling that it repay the state $60 million for over-reporting student attendance. ECOT contests that ruling.

RELATED: State withholds more money from giant online school

ECOT says it has nearly 12,000 students across the state, making it one of the state’s largest school districts. It’s as if a school district the size of Dayton’s were suddenly shutting down, said Chad Aldis, Ohio policy director for the charter school think tank Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

“It’s the largest charter school ever,” he said.

ECOT students are spread throughout the region. There are 479 students in the Dayton school district who attend ECOT, while more than a dozen other local schools have at least a classroom’s worth of students enrolled in the charter school.

Many of those students could come back to their public school district. Dayton school officials did not respond to questions Friday about how the closure could impact them.

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Some parents are expected to try to enroll their children in one of Ohio’s several other online schools.

Wherever the students go, “it’s going to be a nightmare for the receiving school, but most importantly for the families involved,” Aldis said.

ECOT has a large number of high school students, and Aldis fears some may drop out instead of continuing their education.

ECOT has until next week to respond to its sponsor and offer remedies that could prevent a closure, according to the Ohio Department of Education. For the moment, the school remains operational and students can log on for classes as normal.

“If it does close, families have several options,” said Brittany Halpin, spokeswoman for the department. The department’s website, education.ohio.gov, has a “Find a school” search on the homepage. By typing in the county of residence, parents will see a list of school options that include traditional school districts offer open enrollment, online and private schools.

Parents would then need to contact the chosen school to start the enrollment process.

A spokesman for ECOT did not return a call for comment Friday.

Police need your help: Can you identify these Englewood theft suspects?

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:50 AM

The Englewood Police Department is looking for tips regarding a theft that occurred on Sunday, January 14.  Two suspects were involved in a reported pickpocketing at a local restaurant.  

Once the victim discovered her wallet was missing, the suspects had already charged nearly $6000 in purchases. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Alan Meade at 937-771-2890. 

Changes to Facebook concern local small businesses

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:20 PM

Companies are turning your Facebook friends into a sales force. (Dreamstime/TNS)
Los Angeles Times
Companies are turning your Facebook friends into a sales force. (Dreamstime/TNS)(Los Angeles Times)

Many local small businesses are concerned about how changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm will impact their ability to reach customers.

Two weeks ago Facebook announced it will change the News Feed to focus more on content from friends and family. 

Chance for rain, snow showers today with gusty winds

The switch could mean small businesses who rely of Facebook for marketing purposes will be demoted from customers’ News Feeds. 

Eighty percent of small businesses use Facebook for marketing purposes, according to research done by G2 Crowd and published at eMarketer.com in September. 

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will have insight from a social media expert and talk to local business owners and customers about what they think of the changes. Watch move starting at 5 p.m. on WHIO-TV.

1 killed, several injured in shooting at Kentucky high school; suspect in custody

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 9:39 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

VIDEO: Shooting Reported At Kentucky High School

One person was killed and multiple other people were injured Tuesday morning in a shooting reported at a Kentucky high school, according to the state's governor.

>> Read more trending news

Chance for rain, snow showers today with gusty winds

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 3:38 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:15 PM

A few light showers or some wet snow is possible today, and more rain likely this weekend in the Dayton area.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


  • Dry and warming up to end week
  • More rain for weekend

>> 4 tricks to help avoid illness during big temperature changes


TODAY: Mostly cloudy skies are expected today with a few passing showers at times. With temperatures hovering just above freezing most of the day, we could see a mix or rain and even snow at times. No accumulation is expected as the ground is too warm to support anything frozen.

>> 5-Day Forecast

TOMORROW: Colder temperatures start the day in the mid-20s. Some passing flurries are also possible for the first part of the day. Highs peak in the mid-30s as clouds decrease at nighttime. 

THURSDAY: There will be sunshine throughout the day with temperatures warmer than normal in the low 40s. The day will be dry.

>> County-by-County Weather

FRIDAY: We continue to see temperatures improve with sunshine and a few clouds as highs reach around 50 degrees. 

SATURDAY: The day will be breezy and mild with highs around 50 degrees. Rain showers will start to arrive and become more widespread into the night.