COLUMBUS, Ohio — In its heyday, the Electronic Classroom of tomorrow was the state’s largest online school.
But the now defunct charter faces repaying the state $80,000 after the supreme court upheld the lower court’s decision. Both republicans and democrats are applauding.
“ECOT ripped off the chance for a quality education for thousands of students in the state of Ohio, ” said Democratic state representative David Leland. ” I think this is just affirmation of all those facts.”
Attorney General Mike DeWine who is running for governor released a statement regarding the ruling:
“Today’s Ohio Supreme Court ruling is the result of more than two years of litigation through my office, as well as the efforts of the Ohio Department of Education before that, to hold ECOT accountable. This victory in our state’s highest court removes questions which could potentially slow down or delay proceedings to recover taxpayer dollars. My office will continue our efforts to recover taxpayer dollars from William Lager and other ECOT affiliates. I commend the work of special counsel and attorneys in my office on this case and on the recovery litigation to come.”
State Auditor David Yost also released a statement. Yost wants to replace Dewine.
“This decision vindicates Auditor Yost’s decision to refer the ECOT case to federal authorities for potential prosecution. ODE, as the regulator, had the authority to make its clawbacks and could have done so earlier. As always, the Auditor of State audits to the standards set by the regulator, and it is not free to substitute its judgment for that of the regulator.”
Democrats are clamoring saying a republican held general assembly should have reacted sooner.
And State Representative Leland accuses republicans of holding onto thousands of dollars in campaign money he says should be returned.
“There’s still $250,000 of ECOT money that’s sitting in the Ohio House of Republican coffers right now. They haven’t given it up. Even though millions of dollars have been defrauded from taxpayers. I think they should return the money because of what’s happened to this particular school,” Leland said.
Some republicans have returned the donations.
ECOT donated about $29,000 to candidate Yost’s campaign.
He has donated that money to several charity groups.
Yost’s campaign says Ohio Democrats also received campaign funds from ECOT. The campaign says they haven’t returned that money.