Scott: PPP Reports Show Disturbing Imbalance Between Private and Public School Emergency Funding

September 1, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement following a pair of reports produced that found private schools received billions of dollars through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the CARES Act. A report by Covid Stimulus Watch found that private schools received as much as $4.5 billion under PPP, and a separate report by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget projected that roughly $6 billion went to private and charter schools. 

“These two reports reveal a disturbing imbalance between the emergency funding provided to private schools compared to public schools. According to the analysis from Covid Stimulus Watch, private schools – which serve just 10 percent of students – collected as much as $4.5 billion through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This is more than a third of the total amount of emergency K-12 funding in the CARES Act

“As a result, emergency coronavirus funding for private schools has totaled $855,000 per school, while public schools have received just $134,500 per school. This funding gap will be even greater if Secretary DeVos is allowed to divert even more money to private school students through the equitable services rule, which two federal judges have now ruled to be illegal

“The Senate Republican HEALS Act would further worsen inequity by offering public schools $2,495 per low-income student, while giving private schools more than $32,000 per low-income student. The Senate GOP proposal also sets aside an additional $7 billion for private schools and reserves two-thirds of remaining funds for schools that physically reopen, which are more likely to be in wealthier communitiesThese provisions in the HEALS Act, coupled with the lack of any federal relief for state and local governments, will have severe consequences for low-income schools. 

“In light of these reports, Senate Republicans and the Trump administration should immediately withdraw their demand to direct even more money to private schools in the next coronavirus relief package. Congress must focus on putting resources where they are most needed. As these reports show, we are overdue for a significant investment in helping America’s public schools cope with this pandemic.”

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