Critics Say Yost and Republicans Could Have Done More to Stop ECOT

May 15, 2018

Yost, once a supporter of ECOT, is accused of acting too slow to keep the school accountable.
Credit ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

An audit regarding alleged attendance inflation by the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow is now in the hands of several investigative agencies. The review claims that ECOT padded their student data on purpose to get more money from the state. Critics say this information comes after years of ECOT operating unchecked.

Republican Auditor Dave Yost scorched ECOT as he reviewed his findings, saying the now-closed online charter school committed fraud. But Yost was once a supporter of ECOT.

Sandy Theis, a longtime consultant for Democrats and progressive groups, says Yost and fellow Republicans could have done more, years ago, to keep ECOT accountable, through better policy and stronger reviews.

“And now finally that it’s an election-year issue, the Republicans are finally concerned about ECOT’s performance and ECOT taking our money,” she said.

ECOT’s founder, Bill Lager, has been a major Republican campaign donor over the years. Yost received nearly $30,000 from ECOT officials, which he recently donated to charity.