‘Trib Talk’: A recently closed charter school leaves unpaid debts and unanswered questions in its wake

(Courtney Tanner | The Salt Lake Tribune) The American International School of Utah will close on Aug. 15 after years of financial struggles.

The recent closure of the American International School of Utah — a public-private hybrid charter — has displaced more than 1,300 students and left potentially millions of dollars in unpaid debts, including hundreds of thousands of allegedly misspent special education dollars owed to, but unlikely to be repaid to, the state of Utah.

A new board has been established to oversee the nitty-gritty of shutting down the AISU organization. But it says there’s little hope of recovering taxpayer dollars, and it’s unclear who, if anyone, will face consequences from the situation, as virtually no one with direct involvement in the public school was an elected official.

On this week’s “Trib Talk," Tribune education reporter Courtney Tanner and Royce Van Tassell, executive director of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, join reporter Benjamin Wood to discuss the conditions that led to AISU’s closure and the fallout from its financial mismanagement.

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“Trib Talk” is produced by Sara Weber with additional editing by Dan Harrie. Comments and feedback can be sent to tribtalk@sltrib.com, or to @bjaminwood or @tribtalk on Twitter.