To the editor:

The Columbus Dispatch has kept a keen eye on the ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) scandal. An Aug. 4 editorial (see http://www.dispatch.com/opinion/20170804/editorial-ecots-no-good-really-bad-week) should keep the heat on state officials to revoke their state-issued license.

William Lager has piled up a fortune on the backs of school children enrolled in ECOT and school districts from which ECOT has siphoned funds.

Who is at fault in addition to the ECOT Man? Of course, the state officials who have turned a blind eye to the sore they knew was festering for more than 15 years.

But there is more chicanery than is indicated in The Columbus Dispatch editorial. Ten years ago, Superintendent Keith Richards reported to multiple state officials that ECOT was ripping off Newark City Schools but was told to "let it go."

At about that same time, Scrips Howard News Service, subsequent to an exhaustive investigation of charter school enrollment discrepancies, issued a report (Ghost Schools) that should have put some folks in jail but it was swept under the rug.

An unregulated publicly-funded industry invites greedy entrepreneurs, particularly when those folks line the campaign fund pockets of politicians who have the power to regulate and stop the rip-off of taxpayer funds.

Public officials who issued charter licenses to take funds from taxpayers and school children should be held accountable.

Sincerely,
William L. Phillis
Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding