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Groups Pushing ECOT Factor In Gubernatorial Campaign

Dan Konik
Liberal-leaning groups gather outside of Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office calling for an investigation into ECOT. ";

Education advocates held a small rally outside of Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, calling for him to investigate the now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. Democrats are trying to connect the Republican gubernatorial nominee to the online charter school scandal. But there’s a back-and-forth on the ECOT debate that will likely last the entire campaign season.

Steve Dyer with the liberal think tank Innovation Ohio says DeWine needs to hold a criminal investigation into ECOT.

“We now know that this was a massive scandal, we now know who’s responsible for it and now it’s time to hold people to account,” says Dyer.

Dyer accuses DeWine of trying to protect ECOT because founder Bill Lager has been a major Republican campaign donor.

But DeWine’s office says this is out of the AG’s jurisdiction. And DeWine’s gubernatorial campaign is hitting back, saying the Democratic party and its nominee for governor Richard Cordray also accepted money from ECOT; which is true, though much less than what DeWine and the Ohio GOP received.

Both DeWine and Cordray have donated the dollar amount they recieved from ECOT to charity. 

As for the Ohio Democratic Party, spokesperson Kirstin Alvanitakis says, “Those funds were received and spent years before the current leadership team took over the party, and during Chairman Pepper's tenure we have not taken a dime from ECOT or its related entities or leadership. Rest assured, we will be dedicating far greater resources into electing Democrats who will finally end this for-profit charter school nightmare."

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