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Chalkbeat reports that charter schools in Denver collected $16 million from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, intended to help small businesses.
Across the country, charters are collecting federal money intended to save small businesses faced with economic collapse. Public schools are not eligible to get money from this program. Charter schools also receive state and local funding earmarked for public schools.
Aren’t they lucky to be both small businesses and public schools!
Denver charters knew this looked bad, so they suggested they might share future funding with the public schools.
Charter school critics nationally have balked at charters receiving federal Paycheck Protection Program funding, which is not available to traditional public schools.
But Denver charter leaders have committed to reckoning with any inequity created by the funding — a move the memo identifies as unique to Denver. Leaders said that could mean charters taking less than their share of other federal coronavirus relief funds earmarked for Denver schools, leaving more money for district-run schools.
Many charters have been unwilling to acknowledge that they have applied and received PPP money. In Denver, the charters released their federal funding at the request of a board member, Scott Baldermann.