Ohio Auditor Suggests ECOT Should Get Money Back from its Vendors

Aug 9, 2017

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost
Credit ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, Ohio’s largest online charter school, is seeing less money coming from the state because of rulings concluding it over-reported student participation. Now a state leader is suggesting ECOT could recover some of that money by taking it back from its founder’s private corporations.

As the state claws back $60 million from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, Auditor Dave Yost says ECOT should seek reimbursement from their private vendors.

Yost’s directive would apply to all charter schools that are overpaid. In ECOT’s case he says those vendors for software and administrative services got paid for work they didn’t do. According to Yost, this ensures that more money stays with the actual school, benefiting the students they do have.

“You’re a public entity, you’re a public, you owe this to the taxpayers, you owe this to the state, you owe this to the children to go retrieve those resources and use those for the mission of your school,” he said.

The directive hits ECOT especially hard. The school would be recovering money from its founder Bill Lager’s own private companies.