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GOP Returning Donations From Embattled ECOT Founder

Ohio Public Radio

he Ohio Republican Party is returning money to a long-time GOP donor and founder of the state's largest online charter school. The contributor is embroiled in a legal fight over state funding for his organization. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

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. Republican Auditor Dave Yost, who spoke at ECOT’s graduation a few years ago, has become a vocal critic of the school.


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