E-Charter’s Founder Has Donated to Three of Seven Justices
COLUMBUS — The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow — a failing e-charter school that owes the state of Ohio $60 million for “ghost students” — is trying to evade accountability by appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court, which consists of seven justices, three of whom have received campaign contributions from ECOT’s founder, William Lager.
“Ohio Republicans have taken millions in campaign contributions from for-profit charter school operators, at the same time many of those charter schools have been failing our kids and ripping off the taxpayers,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “ECOT owes the state $60 million for the last school year, and they’re refusing to pay up. Now they’re seeking a favorable ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court. Three of the justices — Justice Terrence O’Donnell, Justice Judith French and Justice Pat DeWine — have taken donations from Bill Lager, ECOT’s founder. In 2013, Justice O’Donnell was the commencement speaker for ECOT’s graduation.
“When the state’s highest court takes up this case, the voters of Ohio will be watching. They saw what happened in 2015 when the Republican majority sided with a for-profit charter operator — who also happens to be a major donor to Republicans, including several members of the Ohio Supreme Court.
“Enough is enough. ECOT should stop wasting Ohio tax dollars with lawsuits, lobbying and TV commercials.”
Here are Lager’s contributions to current Ohio Supreme Court justices:
There is a broader pattern of ECOT contributions to Ohio Republicans who have control over the charter school’s fate, including Auditor Dave Yost ($11,400) and Attorney General Mike DeWine ($12,532.54).