Wednesday, January 17, 2018

ECOT in receivership? ECOT paid more to for-profit companies owned by political donor than its teachers

So now the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow's sponsor, the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, wants to put ECOT in receivership to ensure the business can be properly wound down.

I'm fascinated by this "ECOT has no money" claim. Because by all counts, they should have plenty. Why do I say this? Because, as I have written before, even after ECOT loses its monthly, $2.5 million repayment (because it billed taxpayers for $60 million more than it should have in the 2015-2016 school year), the state pays ECOT $4,831.30 per pupil. That’s more than the state pays to educate kids in 265 of Ohio’s 613 school districts.

Yet ECOT is a virtual school. So no buses, janitors, lunch ladies, etc. So the school could pay the 597 teachers it had in the 2016-2017 school year their average $37,527 salary, provide brand-new MacBook Pros from Apple at $1,299 each and still clear about $20 million, or 34 percent.

However, it still has to pay its for-profit companies that run the school and provide the software for the school's operations. These companies are run by William Lager -- the big-time political donor.

How much is that? Well, in the four most recent state audits, Lager's companies end up receiving about $20.9 million a year.

Ah ha. So that is the problem! See, Lager needs to have his cut. And if Lager can't get his cut, well, forget the kids and parents, the school must close.

Here's the amazing thing. Between 2012-2013 and 2015-2016 (the school's most recent audited school year), Lager's for-profit companies received $83.6 million in public funds. Meanwhile, ECOT only paid $82.9 million for its teachers during the same period.

This is the problem with for-profit companies running schools. The schools end up paying more to the companies than the teachers.

Perhaps if Lager had settled for less of a cut or profit, ECOT parents wouldn't be scrambling today? Of course, that would have meant fewer potential donations to Ohio politicians. And we can't have that now, can we?

10 comments:

  1. Man You are dead on. I can't believe it has taken someone so long to connect the dots. It's happening throughout Ohio and the US with the Corporate Management Companies. Someone has to get on K12 inc., RIGHT AWAY.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a 33 year experienced administrator, it is sad to see that teachers who pay so much to get a degree and work so hard for students are treated like this. We have received many students at our school who have returned from ECOT. Many are not successful in a regular school and it was easy to see why...there were no expectations at ECOT. Many talked about never or rarely logging in and having as much time as needed to submit work. However, many had all As and Bs!!! How did this scam go on for so long?

    ReplyDelete
  3. This information about the multi-level marketing of ECOT and profit to the Lagar family has been available for at least 4-5 years. Plunderbund was putting this info out in 2013-14. I guess it pays to invite the governor and other state officials to graduation ceremonies and distribute millions of campaign contributions to grease the skids. Even the auditor gave a keynote speech. They finally got to the break point where this theft was so egregious they couldn't sweep it under the rug. the experiment has not and is not working for students. Send the kids back to their school districts along with the money. The charter online charter fiasco along with the other "reforms" have accomplished nothing....except to retard educational progress, strip districts of necessary funds, and make a small group of politically connected persons rich!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This information about the multi-level marketing of ECOT and profit to the Lagar family has been available for at least 4-5 years. Plunderbund was putting this info out in 2013-14. I guess it pays to invite the governor and other state officials to graduation ceremonies and distribute millions of campaign contributions to grease the skids. Even the auditor gave a keynote speech. They finally got to the break point where this theft was so egregious they couldn't sweep it under the rug. the experiment has not and is not working for students. Send the kids back to their school districts along with the money. The charter online charter fiasco along with the other "reforms" have accomplished nothing....except to retard educational progress, strip districts of necessary funds, and make a small group of politically connected persons rich!

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