In Ohio’s First Public School Hundred-Millionaire: ECOT Founder William Lager, Plunderbund, the Columbus Ohio blog, continues to track the riches in tax dollars being siphoned by William Lager, owner of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), Ohio’s largest on-line academy, and the two private companies Lager owns that provide all curriculum and services for ECOT.
ECOT’s 13,836 students fare poorly on standardized tests, and its four-year graduation rate is only 35 percent, rising to 38 percent in five years. Plunderbund has updated all numbers as of the end of 2013. Since 2000, William Lager’s political donations to Ohio legislators total $1,444, 242.46.
Altair Management Company and IQ Innovations, Lager’s private companies that provide services for ECOT have each received over $50 million in tax dollars since 2001. In December of 2013, ECOT won an Ohio Straight-A Fund innovation grant of $2,951,755, approved by a State Control Board, three of whose members, according to Plunderbund, have shared $57,000 in campaign contributions from William Lager.
In Ohio political contributions continue to protect ECOT at the expense of traditional public schools. Ohio’s school funding takes from state and local tax dollars for traditional public schools to support charters including the on-line academies like ECOT; see this post. And the federal government that has created incentives for the authorization of a growing charter sector has at the same time made no attempt to regulate them.