Taxpayer-funded Chicago charter schools cashed in on COVID-19 loans; CPS seeks probe

Chicago Sun-Times

July 8, 2020

By Lauren FitzPatrick and Nader Issa

[Includes informative graph.]

The privately run schools got the federal Paycheck Protection Program money though they also got their full funding from Illinois taxpayers, a Sun-Times analysis finds.

Publicly funded charter schools in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois received a total of between $31.2 million and $74.7 million in federal loans intended to bolster small businesses and non-profits during the coronavirus pandemic, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found.

Thirty operators of 56 schools got the federal money even though, unlike many other employers that sought Paycheck Protection Program loans, they hadn’t lost any of their normal funding from Illinois taxpayers.

Paycheck Protection Program loans to Illinois schools

Schools in Illinois took home over $133 million in federal coronavirus funding

This chart displays the maximum and minimum loan amounts, categorized by type of school, for institutions receiving loans over $150,000. Data is based on loan ranges provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Schools receiving loans less than $150,000 were not identified and are not included in this chart.

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