Accountability Charter Schools Education Industry For-Profit Fraud Funding Ohio Privatization Virtual Charter Schools

Bill Phillis: Who Should Be Held Accountable for the ECOT Fiasco?

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Bill Phillis is a retired deputy State Superintendent of Schools in Ohio and a passionate advocate of public schools, equity and accountability.

He launched the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding. You should subscribe to his email list.

ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) wasted $1 billion of taxpayers’ money, diverted funding from real public schools, and was endorsed by Ohio’s most prominent Republican elected officials. Betsy Dezvos wants more virtual charters, which have an abysmal track record.

He writes:

The ECOT scandal could have been stopped many times since its beginning

After ECOT ripped off a billion dollars from Ohio school districts and collected a couple hundred million from the federal government during a 17-year run, the corrupt operation was finally exposed. How did this business enterprise feed illegally at the public tax trough in plain sight without being held accountable? That critical question is being debated in the final days before the November 2018 election. Candidates are debating who is to blame.

One person said; don’t blame Bill Lager-he is a businessman trying to make a buck. Lager used millions of tax dollars gobbled up from the public trough to buy political favors. Public officials turned a blind eye to the corruption.

Who should have been watching ECOT and other bad actors in the charter industry?

State Board of Education
Ohio Department of Education
State Superintendents
State Auditors
State Attorney Generals
Private watchdog groups

Over the years state officials have shut down small charter operations-the kind that had meager political campaign budgets. But ECOT wasn’t on their radar.

The ECOT scandal should prompt state officials of all political stripes to put the spotlight on the other big time charter operators such as K12 Inc., Imagine Schools, Gulen Islamic charters, Accel, etc.

“The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves.”
– John Adams, September 10, 1785

William L. Phillis | Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding | 614.228.6540 | [email protected]|

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