Stephen Dyer, former legislator in Ohio, now a fellow at Innovation Ohio, notes that Ohio’s Republicans are scurrying to denounce ECOT, which is now a criminal investigation. Some are even returning campaigning contributions. How did ECOT manage to survive for nearly 20 years while providing a low-quality education and receiving $1 billion from the state?

Bill Phillis of the Ohio Equity and Adequacy Coalition said in a post today that the owner of for-profit ECOT was very generous in distributing campaign contributions to influential officials. He wrote: The ECOT Man really covered all the bases when doling out campaign funds-county prosecutor, legislators, party caucuses, governors, attorney generals, secretaries of state, state treasurers, supreme court justices and probably other office holders. The money doled out came from tax dollars that should have been used to educate students.

Some Republicans are trying to blame Democrats too, since there was a Democratic governor in 2009. But Dyer points out that Governor Ted Strickland tried to slash the appropriations for e-schools by 70%, and Republicans threatened to block the entire state budget unless the cut was restored.

It’s very simple. Gov. Strickland’s budget that year called for a 70 percent cut for Ohio eSchools. That’s right. If Gov. Strickland’s budget had passed unamended, ECOT funding would have been cut by 70 percent, effectively ending the school 10 years before it actually shut down, which would have saved Ohio taxpayers about $700 million that went to the school since then. Not to mention the lives of thousands of students ECOT failed to graduate.

By the way, of the 3,794 students who actually did graduate ECOT the first year of the 2009 budget, only 109 have college degrees today. Just by way of reference.

However, Ohio Republicans still controlled the Senate during the 2009 budget. I was in those budget negotiations and I can tell you that we were told in no uncertain terms that if the 70 percent cuts stayed in the budget, there would be no budget for the 2009 session — severely crippling Ohio’s potential economic recovery from the Great Recession.

When Dyer ran for re-election, he was targeted for defeat by a group that included ECOT.

The Republicans own this scandalous waste of taxpayer dollars. They should be held accountable.

Good riddance to bad rubbish!