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Ohio GOP Returns Donations From ECOT Founder

Karen Kasler
Bill Lager, ECOT founder

The Ohio Republican Party has sent money back to a long-time GOP donor. The contributor is embroiled in a big Supreme Court fight over his online charter school’s funding.

The Republican Party returned $76,000 in donations from Bill Lager, the founder of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, or ECOT.

The state education department is currently clawing back $60 million from ECOT claiming that the school did not have enough students participate in learning to earn that money.

ECOT counters that the law demands proof of providing learning opportunities and not the duration of a student’s participation.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Republican Party did not mention ECOT’s legal battle and simply said “at this time, it is in the best interest of the Ohio Republican Party to respectfully return those funds.”

This seems to show a growing divide between Republicans and Lager. Auditor Dave Yost, a Republican who spoke at ECOT’s graduation a few years ago, has become a vocal critic of the school.

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