Access WordPress data from external PHP application.

I am a volunteer in a non-profit organization. I have taken over maintenance of a number of apps written in PHP/SQL/Dreamweaver. The apps are over 10 years old. I am migrating these apps from PHP/SQL to WordPress plugins. I am now using WordPress for authentication and set a cookie the legacy system recognizes. Some of the functions of the legacy system need to access the user list. Currently I need to maintain users in both systems. I would like to use the WordPress REST API to access user information in WordPress. (All user with role = instructor.) All examples of accessing the WordPress REST API I have found involve JavaScript/Basic Authentication. (But then tell you not to use Basic Authentication.) Can anyone point me to documentation on accessing the REST API from a PHP application on the same server? Thanks

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