Video of Salt Lake City school founder removed by local TEDx group after allegations of financial impropriety surface

(Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo) Principal Ken Grover shows the atrium area of the soon to open Innovations High School at 1700 South and State Street. The new building will connect to the Salt Lake Community College campus next door where high school students can take advantage of the library and even some college classes.

Earlier this week, the Tribune published a pair of reports based on school district documents and interviews with Salt Lake City School District administrators. Records obtained by the Utah Investigative Journalism Project showed that a specialty high school launched by Grover — Innovations Early College High School — had lower performance levels than Grover described while touting the school at speaking engagements like the TEDx events, and that large sums of money had been spent on sugary treats, movies, gift cards and other incentives for students.

Subsequent reporting found that Grover had used district funding — and initially created the school — without formal approval by the district’s superintendent and school board. Grover denied that characterization, attributing the allegations to a difference of opinion over the funding model for the hybrid school, which relies on a nearby campus of Salt Lake Community College to enroll students in early-college courses.

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