Since President Biden announced a program to forgive $10,000-20,000 in student loan debt, new attention has been paid to the Trump administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. PPP doled out billions of dollars to businesses of all kinds, many of which didn’t need the money but took it anyway. Free money.

Among those that collected significant sums were religious schools, private schools (some of which had multi-million dollar endowments), and charter schools.

Regular public schools had a separate stream of money to help them survive COVID-19, but they were not allowed to apply for PPP money, which was only for private businesses and nonprofit.

Charter schools were allowed to double dip. Betsy DeVos was Secretary of Education, after all. So charter schools qualified for public school funding and for PPP.

Carol Burris wrote a brief summary:

More than 1,100 charter schools (about 1 in 7) received PPP loans and had those loans forgiven, according to an investigation by Craig Harris of U.S.A. today. Whether they ever needed the money is questionable since 93% of them were located in states that funded them at the same or higher levels than before Covid 19.

Charter schools, in total, received more than 1 billion dollars in PPP funding. Kipp alone got $28 million even though, according to Harris, they had $78 million in assets.

For-profit charter chains also collected PPP funds and public school funds, although they lost no funding.

ProPublica published a database of every organization that received a PPP loan. Go to the website and type in “charter school,” “Catholic school” or “private school,” “religious organization” and you will see the Trump administration’s extraordinary generosity. Check your own zip code. You will be stunned by the big giveaway to private and religious schools, even televangelists.