Monday, June 12, 2017

Nation's Largest For-Profit School In Danger of Closing.

Well, the State School Board has voted 16-1 to recover $60 million from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow -- the state's first and largest online K-12 school. That's because ECOT can't prove it actually educated $60 million worth of kids out of its $105 million it got last school year.

If this percentage were spread over ECOT's 17 school years and more than $1 billion paid, the state could have paid nearly $600 million in taxpayer dollars to the school for kids that were never there. The sheer amount of funding at stake here is staggering.

And it would be one thing of ECOT were doing a bang up job educating children. However, its performance is abysmal and fails to graduate more students than any other high school ... IN THE COUNTRY.

As I said on this weekend's State of Ohio broadcast, I think ECOT should close because it has failed to meaningful improve the state's educational landscape and it's fleeced taxpayers of more than a half billion dollars since it opened in 2000-2001.

But before we give credit to state policymakers for doing their jobs (finally), let's remember why ECOT's been allowed to fail: Political contributions. Its founder, Bill Lager, has given more than $1.8 million to politicians over the last 17 years -- more than $1.5 million of that to Republicans, according to

Gov. John Kasich's first address to a graduating Ohio high school class was before ECOT in 2011. ECOT has hosted numerous other political heavy hitters during that time.

Only after the shame of being associated with a nationally ridiculed school like Lager's became unbearable, and their public thievery obvious, did Lager's minions gather their spines.

This is something we cannot forget as we move forward from this shameful episode in Ohio's education policy history.

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