On Friday, The New York Times reported that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is trying to get elite preparatory schools with large endowments to return Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that were intended for small businesses as part of the coronavirus stimulus program.
"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a post on Twitter, instructed wealthy schools that had accepted the loans to give them back," reported Ben Protess and David McCabe. "'It has come to our attention that some private schools with significant endowments' have taken the loans, he said. 'They should return them.'"
"Some prominent institutions with multimillion-dollar endowments have accepted money from a Small Business Administration program that is aimed at keeping employees of small companies paid during the coronavirus pandemic," continued the report. "Some of them later walked away from the loans, saying other schools might need the funding more, but others made a case for the money even if they had sizable endowments."
This comes after a similar controversy over large nationwide businesses accepting loans from the PPP, including Shake Shack and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.
Prep schools that have agreed to return or not accept the loans include the Latin School of Chicago, the Middlesex boarding school in the Boston area, and the Alexandria, Virginia Episcopal High School.
But other schools say they will keep the money unless the government passes rules requiring it be returned, including Sidwell Friends in Washington, alma mater of the children of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, which is where President Donald Trump's son Barron studies.