Kingston public school linked to polygamous group seeks expansion

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A West Valley City public charter school with ties to the Kingston polygamous group has decided it will explore the possibility of expanding, despite looming questions over the school’s management of the millions of taxpayer dollars.

The Vanguard Academy was placed under “warning” status in June, as some members of the Utah charter school board question whether the institution is attempting to operate as a private religious school while accepting public money.

FOX 13 investigation: Utah public school linked to polygamous sect placed under ‘warning’ status

In 2020, FOX 13 Investigates discovered that Vanguard Academy had only enrolled one non-white student. Public records show the school has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on businesses related to the Davis County Cooperative Society, also known as the Kingston Group.

FOX 13 investigation: public school linked to polygamous sect is 100% white

In a public meeting of the Vanguard Academy board, Jonathan Bejarano called on the school to be more transparent in its procurement policies and affiliation with DCCS before considering an extension request. .

“I feel like these issues are clearly not resolved,” Bejarano said. “You also have other responsibilities, in your personal and professional life which may conflict with each other.”

Kent Johnson, who is chairman of the board of directors of Vanguard Academy, is also a well-known spokesperson for DCCS. He said the school continues to improve its spending policies, but otherwise declined to speak with FOX 13.

FOX 13 investigates: Kingston polygamist-led nonprofit faces tax questions and charges

Suzanne Owen, principal of Vanguard Academy, said the school would like to expand in an effort to separate younger students from older students. She described all expansion ideas as being in their “small stages”.

Last December, in an interview with FOX 13, Owen was not forthright about his involvement as a member of the group Kingston.

“Well, I heard about it,” Owen said.

“But aren’t you familiar with that?” asked FOX 13 investigative reporter Adam Herbets.

“No,” Owen replied. “Well, like I said, it’s a charter public school.”

Since this interview, several past and present members of the Kingston family have confirmed that Owen is one of the “spiritual” wives of Hyrum Kingston, the leader’s brother.

It is Utah State Charter School Board policy that a school cannot be considered for expansion unless it is “in good standing.”

Source link

About Colin Shumway

Check Also

Durham Public Schools may move the School of the Arts downtown

A Durham man accused of unauthorized entry into and surprise students in a Durham School …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *