- Associated Press - Sunday, March 8, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio’s largest online charter school reported at least $2.27 million spent last school year on advertising to attract students.

That’s about 2 percent of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow’s revenue for the school year, which was $112.7 million, The Columbus Dispatch reported (https://bit.ly/1KGKl2r ). About 90 percent of that revenue was funded by the state.

The charter school’s advertising spending included radio and television time, Facebook and Google ads and mailing lists.

The $2.27 million spent on ads only accounts for some of the school’s advertising, the newspaper reports. Other ads are paid for by the school’s for-profit management company, the records for which aren’t public.

State Rep. Teresa Fedor, who has called for an overhaul of state charter-school laws, called the school’s advertising spending “shockingly high,” adding that there’s no good reason to spend those kinds of tax dollars on ads.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost said advertising is necessary for charter schools to promote competition and produce a better educational outcome, but said more transparency is necessary.

Charter schools - especially large ones like ECOT - need to do more advertising than a local district school, said Chad Aldis with the pro-charter Fordham Institute in Columbus. But what amount is appropriate is a fair question, he said.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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