Monday, July 7, 2014

Beleaguered ECOT gets another Innovation Grant

In the latest round of Straight A Fund recipients, ECOT came out another winner, it appears. They weren't the primary recipient of the $625,000, the way it was during the first round when it got $3 million. Instead, they partnered with Finneytown Local in Hamilton County.

Finneytown, according to payment reports from the Ohio Department of Education, lost a bit more than $18,000 to ECOT last school year. ECOT cleared $99.3 million from school districts last year -- more than $6,800 per pupil (far more per pupil state money than the average traditional public school receives).

So to keep the running total, since last year's budget, ECOT was awarded the state's largest Charter School funding bump from Gov. John Kasich's new education funding plan, as well as significant casino revenue and two Straight A grants. That means that ECOT has received an 11% per pupil funding bump since Kasich's education funding plan was announced.

Since ECOT's report card ratings are extremely mediocre and its graduation rate is an abysmal 35%, something other than academic excellence must be at work.

ECOT founder William Lager has made $368,000 in political contributions since April of last year. So that begs the question: Has ECOT really been doing a great job, or has its founder done a better one investing in politicians?