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Judge Denies Local Schools From Intervening in ECOT Lawsuit

photo of ECOT
The ECOT headquarters in Columbus.

A judge has denied local school districts from intervening in the civil lawsuit against what was the largest online charter school in Ohio, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). 

The Franklin County judge rejected the districts’ request to get involved in the case against ECOT, noting that the goals of the schools and the state are closely aligned. 

Dayton, Toledo, Springfield, and the other districts claimed that the attorney general’s office had close ties to ECOT’s founder Bill Lager.

The education department determined that ECOT was paid more than $80 million for students it couldn’t prove it had. 

The lawsuit argues a pattern of corrupt activity between Lager and two companies he owned that contracted with ECOT. It seeks to recover the money from Lager and other former ECOT officials. 

An attorney representing the school districts said they’re taking a look at the ruling to figure out their next step.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.