Ohio’s troubled online learning project investigated

By Mary Mogan Edwards, The Columbus Dispatch
March 1st, 2016


Some education advocates allege that funds for an online education clearinghouse were improperly allocated

The Ohio inspector general is investigating a troubled joint project by Ohio State University and the state Board of Higher Education to create a clearinghouse of online learning materials.

State lawmakers mandated the project during the administration of former Gov. Ted Strickland.

An Ohio State spokesman confirmed that the university is “aware of the investigation” and is cooperating.

State Department of Higher Education spokesman Jeff Robinson would say only, “If there is something that the IG finds troubling in regard to the clearinghouse that was established under the previous administration, we would certainly support their review.”

ProgressOhio, a liberal advocacy group, has contended for months that after Republican John Kasich became governor, the project funneled millions to companies owned by William Lager, a major donor to Republican politicians and founder of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow online charter school.

Another Lager company, IQ Innovations, was hired to develop the clearinghouse, called the Distance Learning Center. ProgressOhio presented its findings at a news conference.

Next page: How the investigation took root

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