Charter, private schools win millions of dollars from federal coronavirus aid


The Small Business Administration and Treasury Department released data on Monday — after significant pressure — on the organizations that took money from its $660 billion small-business relief program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, and how much in loans they each received. Loans can be forgiven if most of the money is used to pay employees.

You can look through the database here.

Along with charter schools — which are publicly funded but privately operated — and private schools, the Post database shows that the Trump administration took a very broad view of who should receive help from the small-business loan program.

Loans went to foreign-owned firms; Wall Street firms; major law firms; Kanye West’s clothing company, Reese Witherspoon’s clothing company, Draper James; Robert Kiyosaki, a best-selling author who co-wrote two of President Trump’s books; and other friends and relatives of the president, including members of the family of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The data released represented less than 15 percent of the total number of loans that were given, but it shows that shows that at least 120 charter schools received at least $220 million in aid from the PPP, some of them winning loans of at least $5 million. The actual amount could be more than double.

The Post database shows loans of more than $1 million. There are 152 separate entries of charter schools that come up in a search of the database for “charter schools.” Many of them received loans of between $1 million to $2 million, and some between $5 million and $10 million. If each school got the lowest amount of money in their loans, it would amount to more than $200 million.

A search for the word “school” brings up 2,606 results, including many colleges and universities. Traditional public school districts could not apply for PPP loans.

Among the charters that received loans were a dozen different schools in the KIPP charter network, nine of them taking loans of $2 million to $5 million, and three taking loans of $1 million to $2 million. That’s a collective minimum of $21 million and a maximum of $51 million.

Summit Public Schools, a charter network in California, received a PPP loan of $5 million to $10 million, according to the data.

In Pennsylvania, three charter schools received loans of between $5 million and $10 million: Chester Community Charter School (which is listed in government data as Archway Charter School of Chester), Collegium Charter School of Exton, and the Mastery charter network for its Camden schools.

In the District of Columbia, my colleagues Perry Stein and Donna St. George reported that 25 of the District’s 63 charter networks received a loan, as did some elite private schools in the greater Washington region.

Those private schools include Sidwell Friends, where Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton sent their children. It received a loan between $5 million and $10 million, according to the data. Other D.C. private schools that received PPP pans include Lowell School, Field School and the Edmund Burke School — all of them receiving loans of between $1 million and $2 million.

Stein and St. George reported that in Maryland, more than 100 private, parochial and charter schools reportedly received PPP loans, including Georgetown Preparatory School, where Supreme Court Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh and Neil M. Gorsuch attended.

Charter schools received stimulus money, as did traditional K-12 school districts, from the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (Cares) Act that Congress passed this past spring. It included a pot of $13.5 billion in funding for K-12 grants to states.

Some charter schools decided to also apply for PPP loans, intended to help small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations. They said charter schools are underfunded through regular funding formulas and had a right to seek more aid. Some charter schools, however, opted not to apply for loans, saying they thought it would be double-dipping into federal aid funds.



Source link