Ed-Tech Policy News in Brief

Online Charter Used For-Profit Companies to Hide Attack-Ad Money, Auditor Finds

By Tribune News Service — May 15, 2018 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Using private companies owned by Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow school founder Bill Lager, plus a media-production company run by his daughter, the now-defunct online charter school tried to hide the source of payment for nearly $250,000 worth of TV attack ads aimed at the Ohio education department, according to state auditor Dave Yost.

As a result, Yost is ordering a pair of Lager’s ECOT-affiliated for-profit companies, along with the company owned by his daughter, to repay nearly $250,000 for what Yost says is illegally spent public money.

ECOT and the education department engaged in warfare in the courts and a public-relations campaign last year after the department found that the school was unable to verify about 60 percent of its reported enrollment. The state ordered ECOT to repay the state $60 million, a sum that has since risen.

As part of its strategy, ECOT launched a string of television ads attacking the education department. Although charter schools can legally run ads in an effort to recruit students, no public school is allowed to spend taxpayer money on political-type ads.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the May 16, 2018 edition of Education Week as Online Charter Used For-Profit Companies to Hide Attack-Ad Money, Auditor Finds


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy Q&A Why Many Schools' Strict Cellphone Policies May Not Go Far Enough
A national advocacy group says schools need all-day bans on devices.
6 min read
Young girl using a cellphone in class. On her desk is an open notebook and a pencil.
skynesher / iStock/Getty
Ed-Tech Policy Q&A How the FCC Wants to Tackle the 'Homework Gap'
The FCC approved an expansion of the E-rate program to include Wi-Fi hotspots.
4 min read
Student at computer from home, doing school work with  wifi connection icon images overlaying image.
Liz Yap/Education Week and E+/Getty.
Ed-Tech Policy Can Schools and Vendors Work Together Constructively on AI? A New Guide May Help
A top priority is greater transparency about how AI-driven products are designed and tested.
4 min read
Ed-Tech Policy Tracker Which States Ban or Restrict Cellphones in Schools?
See which states are requiring cellphone restrictions or bans in schools.
cellphone distraction policy bans in schools static
Laura Baker/Education Week via canva