In case DeWine “the doofus dork” needs reminding: ECOT raked in over $1 billion in public funds in 15 years
Kids with a sign about charter schools not public schools and Dewine

In a viral video that has racked up more than half a million views, students from Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS) urged Gov. DeWine and key legislators to deliver on their promise of fairly and fully funding public schools during the 2023 budget cycle. 

The Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) – a grassroots people-centered power organization – helped create the viral video in collaboration with CAHS students. They released it last week on All In For Ohio’s Instagram page, along with an online petition to key legislators urging them to fully fund our schools

The video has attracted significant statewide and national recognition for hitting a nerve in the ongoing debate around public schools and charter schools.

No Ohioan needs reminding how corrupt Ohio charter schools have been and, no doubt, remain. As Dennis Kucinich testified to the Ohio legislature in 2017, “The privatization of public education in Ohio has resulted in a wasteful, inefficient, duplicate school system, with duplicate buildings and a duplicate transportation system, paid for by the same taxpayers who have paid for public education in the first place.”

The greatest example of Ohio charter school corruption was ECOT, the so-called “Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow.” When ECOT was still around too many of its students admitted to the Free Press that while they may have been “logged in” they rarely paid attention to their teachers. According to the New York Times, “more students dropped out of ECOT or failed to finish high school within four years than at any other school in the country.”

Recall how DeWine was the Ohio Attorney General during the years ECOT drained the state’s treasury. Back then, former Ohio Senator and Democrat Teresa Fedor said, “When Ohio officials were fraudulently changing letter grades to get ECOT more taxpayer dollars for kids who never attended school, Mike DeWine did nothing and let the trail go cold.”

Over 300 Ohio charter schools have failed, with hundreds of millions sucked away by bankers, investors and private equity funds. You can thank the Ohio Revised Code for most of those tax-payer losses considering it was written and tweaked – after banker campaign contributions to Ohio Republicans – to not provide any transparency and accountability for charters.

OOC organizers point out that the solution to the problem is to enact fair public school funding that benefits all Ohioans, instead of privatizing the public school system for a privileged few. 

The OOC is working with students, parents, teachers, and grassroots advocates to permanently pass the Fair School Funding Plan. A two-year version of the plan was passed during the 2021 budget cycle largely thanks to the advocacy and organizing efforts of the All In For Ohio Kids coalition, of which the OOC is a founding member. Other members include the Ohio Education Association (teachers’ union) and Policy Matters Ohio.

The Fair School Funding Plan is offering these solutions:

  • Creates Additional Funding for Kids: Provides an additional $1.99B in school funding over 6 years.
  • Provides Local Relief: The plan reduces the need for local levies that rely on property taxes.
  • Equitably Fixes the Formula: The plan helps all kids, but prioritizes the most in need – 70 percent of all the revenue will go to the poorest districts.
  • Reimagines School Choice: Direct funding for charters and vouchers from the state instead of burdening local districts.
  • Establishes Oversight: Will create an oversight committee to run studies and monitor progress on this plan.


Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) unites base-building community organizing groups, student associations and faith organizations, with labor unions, and policy institutes throughout Ohio. Their mission is to organize everyday Ohioans, building transformative power organizations for racial, social, and economic justice. Their vision is to build a democratic multi-racial populist governing coalition in Ohio.