Tuesday, June 27, 2017

State auditor orders ECOT to stop spending tax dollars on attack ads

State auditor orders ECOT to stop spending tax dollars on attack ads:

State auditor orders ECOT to stop spending tax dollars on attack ads



Ohio Auditor Dave Yost has ordered ECOT to stop using taxpayers dollars on television ads attacking the state Department of Education’s decision to seek repayment of $60.4 million, saying the commercials are not proper expenditures “and are impermissible.”
In a letter to the giant online charter dated Friday, Yost said he was writing ECOT “to demand that you act without delay to cease and desist the expenditure of public funds” being used for ads.
Join the conversation at Facebook.com/columbusdispatch and connect with us on Twitter @DispatchAlerts
ECOT spokesman Neil Clark could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon. He has not returned phone calls or emails since Thursday, when he confirmed that state tax dollars meant to educate ECOT students were being diverted for the public-opinion fight with the department over funding. ECOT has launched a barrage of television ads attacking the department as being against school choice and against ECOT students.
“It is my understanding that the costs of the preparation and dissemination of the broadcasts are being defrayed by ECOT out of funds received by it from the state of Ohio and allocated to and intended for the education of students enrolled in your institution,” Yost says in the letter, which he provided in response to a Public Records Act request.
If so, that spending is “in support of your dispute with ODE, the administrative agency charged with the responsibility of enforcing the full compliance of Ohio schools with applicable law. As such, if these facts are correct, the expenditures cannot be justified as advancing a proper public purpose and are impermissible.”
The Dispatch reported on Saturday that Clark confirmed last week that ECOT was paying for the ads from its state tax receipts. He defended the practice.
“ECOT has a right, and a fiduciary responsibility, to employ, fund and use resources for any activity that they believe can lead to making ODE change its current position or affect the General Assembly to try to change ODE,” Clark said State auditor orders ECOT to stop spending tax dollars on attack ads:

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education