Elite Private Prep Schools Take Covid Cash
Elite Private Prep Schools Take Covid Cash
Elite private prep schools are taking loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). The PPP was meant to enable small businesses to continue paying employees, not to subsidize wealthy schools and companies. These greedy organizations are part of what’s wrong with this whole swampy system.
We are all aware that the PPP is being abused. The L.A. Lakers, the second most valuable N.B.A. franchise, applied for a PPP loan. Companies like Shake Shack and Axios applied for PPP loans. And, Amanda wrote last week about Harvard applying for a PPP loan. Harvard University, the number one elite university in the United States, has an endowment of $40,000,000,000.00 (40 billion dollars).
Now, the New York Times is reporting that elite prep schools are Hoovering up PPP bucks. In an article titled “Elite Prep Schools, Set Back by Virus, Face a Quandary on Federal Aid”, the Times explains:
Across the country, dozens of elite private preparatory schools are facing a vexing decision: They qualified for federal funds for small businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but administrators are considering whether the scrutiny of taking government assistance outweighs the benefits.
Oh, really? It ain’t your money, bubs. We as a country are broke. We are poor. We are in debt. Big time. Yet, these greedy organizations are taking money meant for small businesses. Small businesses. You and I think of small businesses as the Mom and Pop stores down the street or small chains. But these businesses, the Lakers and Harvard, are not small and they are not struggling to pay their payrolls.
The image at the top of this post is of Sidwell Friends School. The Quaker school is favored by Presidential spawn like Chelsea Clinton and Sasha and Malia Obama, among others. With a tuition of about $30,000.00, the parental units of the students, necessarily, have deep pockets. The school has an endowment of $53,400,000.00 (53.4 million dollars). Sidwell Friends applied for and received a PPP loan through the SBA. The following is from the Times article:
On Wednesday, the board of trustees at Sidwell Friends, Chelsea Clinton’s alma mater, said in a memo to the school community that it would accept a $5.2 million loan “in light of actual and anticipated shortfalls, mounting uncertainty” and “the importance of maintaining employment levels.”
“We recognize that our decision to accept this loan may draw criticism from some quarters of the community,” said the school, which has a $53.4 million endowment, “but are fully united in our decision.”
Aww, they are “fully united” in their decision. How’s about y’all dip into that hefty endowment? Endowments are gifts given to institutions to provide for future growth and are not meant to be drawn down.
Here is a freaking genius idea: Loan money from the endowment to the school. Ask your deep-pocketed benefactors to help you pay it back.
To be bipartisan about this, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, where Barron Trump is a student, also took the PPP loan.
These elite schools with their pampered students are taking money that they must know was not meant for them. Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, has promised that any loan over $2,000,000 will be reviewed.
Smaller schools are struggling:
Other schools, particularly some smaller and less endowed ones, are still struggling to get their applications reviewed. When the program launched in early April, the banks processing the applications struggled to keep up with the demand and navigate technical problems, causing some applicants to miss out on a first wave of money. Additional funds became available on Monday, but uncertainty and anxiety persist.
And finally, the truest words written in this article:
“There are plenty of schools that work on tight budgets, and there’s going to be a lot of heartache and a lot of closures across the country,” said Ms. Danish, of Grace Episcopal Day School. “Education is not going to be the same.”
No, education is not going to be the same and that is a good thing. Parents will find out that, no matter how elite the school and how choice the future connections may be, a good education can be had for next to nothing and the connections can be made at summer camps or the country club.