TONIGHT AT 10: Secrecy surrounds the operations of American Preparatory Academy

Why isn't the head of American Preparatory Academy not answering questions about how $5 million of your money is being used? (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) -- American Preparatory Academy, a collective of four charter schools in Utah, is the largest charter school entity in the state.

One of its founders and its Executive Director, Carolyn Sharette, is also the registered agent of a for-profit management company, American Preparatory Schools, Inc., which will charge the school $5,805,200 for the 2018-2019 school year. That’s a bump up from the $4.6 million the company got last year.

Where’s the money going?

State funding, your taxpayer dollars, comprise 88 percent of American Prep’s budget. But what do the students get with that money?

Sharette isn’t telling – and she doesn’t have to. The State Charter School Board does not demand accountability from contracted companies working for the school.

The Board told KUTV’s Beyond the Books that it monitors a charter school’s student performance and adherence to its charter and state and federal rules. But Sharette’s for-profit company is beyond its reach.

It’s also a family affair. Two of Sharette’s siblings, brother Howard Headlee and sister Laura Campbell, are co-founders of American Prep.

Sharette and Campbell sit on its executive board. Headlee registered three 501(c)3 companies that own the school’s property and buildings and lease them back to the schools. And at least two of Sharette’s children have been employed by the for-profit management company, American Preparatory Schools, Inc.

The State Charter School Board isn’t asking about the taxpayer funds disappearing into Sharette’s private company, but 2News Reporter Chris Jones did. Watch the story tonight at 10.


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