Judge blocks schools from Ohio suit against e-school founder

FILE – In this May 9, 2017, file photo, hundreds of supporters of Ohio's largest online charter school, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow or ECOT, participate in a rally outside the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Education regulators are reviewing a whistleblower's claim that the online charter school, which abruptly closed in Jan. 2018, inflated attendance figures tied to its state funding, The Associated Press has learned, using software purchased after previous allegations of attendance inflation. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A judge won’t let school districts intervene in Ohio’s civil case seeking to recoup millions of dollars in public funding from leaders of a now-defunct online charter school.
Eight districts, including Dayton and Toledo, sought to be part of the case involving founder William Lager and officials from the massive Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow. The districts argued the state wouldn’t adequately represent their interests and political affiliations might keep it from pursuing certain claims.
A Franklin County judge rejected that argument this week. She noted some claims and parties that the districts said were missing were added in Ohio’s amended complaint. The judge also noted that the schools and the state have the same goal of recouping funding.
The state had opposed allowing the districts to intervene in the case.