Mercedes Schneider was absolutely delighted to learn that ProPublica created a search engine so that anyone could learn where the federal $660 billion or so was spent.

Mercedes is a master at following the money, and she guides you here to show that you can do it too!

She writes:

During the coronavirus pandemic, with the federal government offering Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to businesses and nonprofit organizations, ProPublica has once again delivered a marvelous search engine enabling the public to easily investigate which companies and nonprofits have received federal money in the form of loans ranging from $150K to $10M, including charter and private schools and other education organizations.

Public schools were not eligible to apply for PPP, but that did not stop charters, which claim to be public schools (but aren’t) from taking what they could get, without regard to need.

One can use the ProPublica PPP search engine to verify, for example, that Democracy Prep Louisiana Charter School received between $350K and $1M on April 28, 2020, from Sterling National Bank in order to retain zero jobs.

Mercedes also noted that the elite private school Sidwell Friends in D.C. (where the Obama girls attended school) received a forgivable loan of $5-10 million.

PPP was a vast sum of money ($660 billion). Those on the know feathered their nests. But public schools, faced with demands to reopen and diminishing state taxes, were not eligible. Public schools received $13.2 billion from the CARES act, which Betsy DeVos ordered them to share with charter schools and private schools. The charters got vastly more money than public schools, first from the CARES act, then from the $660 billion PPP.

Smells fishy. Looks bad. Are charter schools public schools? If they are, they should not have sought and received PPP.