Dozens of expensive private schools received millions in US pandemic loans
Published: Jul 07, 2020 08:53 PM
At least six dozen expensive private schools, including one where former US president Barack Obama's children studied, got between $42 million and $104.25 million in loans under a US program meant to help small businesses weather the coronavirus crisis.

Among the schools, the biggest beneficiaries included the storied Washington-based Sidwell Friends School and the progressive Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, New York, with both receiving between $5 million and $10 million in forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Other recipients include the Miami Country Day School, which received up to $5 million, and the Aspen Country Day School, which received $650,000. Their tuition is in the $30,000-$37,000 range.

More than two dozen Waldorf schools across the country, best known for their no-media policies that keep students away from screens and social media, also took in millions of dollars.

Carolyn Hines, director of communications at the Aspen Country Day School, said the school would use its funds to keep its 63 staff on payroll during a time when fundraising is challenged.

The government said its pandemic relief program for small businesses saved some 51.1 million jobs, with $521.4 billion in taxpayer cash infusing a wide array of the US' small businesses. But the presence of private schools among the beneficiaries underscores how several well-heeled institutions got support along with millions of workaday small businesses.