TIFFIN, OH — It’s been nearly two weeks since Rachel Crooks, the Democratic challenger of incumbent State Rep. Bill Reineke (R), has called upon Reineke to donate his ECOT-linked donations to another cause, as many other state officials have done who have also received past donations from ECOT.
Reineke has still not released any information on whether or not he plans to return/donate the money he received from ECOT, and his office, when contacted by TiffinOhio.net, said they had no information on the issue.
Charter schools like ECOT have cost the Tiffin City School district alone over $1.3 million in lost funds, according to the Ohio Education Association. See how much your district lost by clicking here.
Reineke received $12,155.52 from Bill Lager, the founder of the scandal-ridden ECOT online charter school, in October 2014.
“For-profit charter schools like ECOT have been allowed to operate with no accountability for far too long, and they doled out millions in campaign checks — including $12,155.52 to Bill Reineke,” Crooks said in a press release.
As an online charter school, ECOT received taxpayer money based on the amount of time students spent learning. The charter school submitted that data to the state, which then doled out the appropriate amount of money.
But an audit of the 2015-2016 school year found ECOT was getting money for 9,000 students without proof that those students existed or were learning anything. The state wanted its $60.4 million in taxpayer money back.
Another audit of the 2016-2017 school year found ECOT over-estimated students again, taking about $19 million in taxpayer money without proper documentation.
In May of 2018, Ohio Auditor Dave Yost released a damning report alleging ECOT leaders broke the law by intentionally inflating the amount of time students spent learning.
State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin)’s contact information can be found here: http://www.ohiohouse.gov/bill-reineke
To learn more about Rachel Crooks, Reineke’s Democratic challenger, click here.