COLUMBUS — Ohio Rep. Robert Sprague — the Republican candidate for state treasurer — today joined Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow defender Rep. Andrew Brenner in calling for less accountability for online charter schools, despite the fact that ECOT overbilled the state by $80 million and is now being forced to close mid-year.
“For someone who wants to oversee Ohio taxpayer money, perhaps Robert Sprague should be more concerned about the $80 million that ECOT bilked from public schools and less concerned with defending a failed, for-profit charter school,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “If Sprague doesn’t think charter schools that take public tax dollars should be held accountable for tracking their students’ attendance, then he has no business being our state treasurer.”
Sprague pointed to the experience of the Findlay Digital Academy failing to track online student attendance and consequently owing money for it.
“They simply weren’t tracking it,” (Sprague) said. “They never tracked those kids’ log-in and log-out times. All of a sudden they owed money, which almost shut down that school as well.”
This goes to the heart of the ECOT debacle — Lager’s company failed to track student attendance and overbilled the state of Ohio nearly $80 million.
“Sprague’s dismissive attitude toward basic accountability is the exact type of casual approach that led to the ECOT disaster in the first place,” Pepper said.