The Maryland private school attended by President Donald Trump’s son Barron is planning to keep a Paycheck Protection Program loan it secured in order to continue paying employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, said in a statement to CNN on Thursday that it “applied for PPP funds through our longstanding bank to ensure retention of our full faculty and staff, including hourly employees and coaches, during this very challenging and uncertain time.”
“We feel fortunate to have received funds that will allow us to maintain our promise to support our employees and to help school families facing hardship remain at St. Andrew’s next year. We hope every other nonprofit and small business is able to access PPP support,” the school said in the statement.
Private schools are within their right to apply for the loan, as are many businesses, though as the stimulus programs have quickly run dry, some notable and deep-pocketed private organizations that received money have faced scrutiny. A number of organizations, including the Los Angeles Lakers and the restaurant Sweetgreen, have said they plan to return loans.
St. Andrew’s plans were first reported on Wednesday by The New York Times.
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Though the size of the loan St. Andrew’s received is unknown, the school reported an endowment of over $8 million in a 2017 tax filing.
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.
Another elite private school in Washington, DC, Sidwell Friends, which has been attended by Chelsea Clinton and Malia and Sasha Obama, also plans to keep its loan, according to the Times.
In a memo to the school’s community, Sidwell’s board of trustees said it plans to accept a $5.2 million loan, citing “the importance of maintaining employment levels,” the newspaper reported.
The school noted in the memo that “our decision to accept this loan may draw criticism from some quarters of the community,” but that it’s “fully united in our decision,” the Times said.
CNN has reached out to Sidwell for comment as well.
Several other notable private schools – including the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in Washington, DC, and The Westminster Schools in Atlanta – told CNN they didn’t apply for the loan. The Latin School in Chicago received a loan but then returned it, citing “new guidance.”
Nick Saracino, a spokesman for Francis Parker, said the school did look into applying for the loan but “decided that the loan was intended for others in greater needs than our institution.”
“There’s no doubt we will be affected by this pandemic but those particular funds were not intended for institutions like us,” he added.
This story has been updated to include additional reporting and reaction.