Controversy follows receipt of Paycheck Protection Program funds by public charter schools
By Greg Childress
At least 50 North Carolina charter schools received money from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, created to help small businesses and nonprofits stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because some charter schools also received COVID-19 relief money through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, critics have accused them of inappropriate “double-dipping.”
“PPP funding was intended to keep the employees on the payroll of small businesses whose revenue dried up due to COVID closures,” said Carol Burris, executive director of the Network for Public Education (NPE), a New York City-based nonprofit advocacy group. “Charter schools have been fully funded by the taxpayers throughout the epidemic with no interruption in revenue flow. What some charters did was use their nonprofit status as a loophole to unethically secure funding meant to keep moms and dads receiving salaries when they could not work. This is double-dipping at its worst.”