Elite prep schools, set back by virus, face dilemma over federal aid

“We recognize that our decision to accept this loan may draw criticism from some parts of the community,” said the school, which has an endowment of $ 53.4 million, “but we are fully united in our decision “.

The Pingry School, with campuses in Short Hills and Basking Ridge, NJ, and an endowment of around $ 80 million, said it would keep the money it received to pay teachers and staff , as provided for in the federal program.

St. Andrew’s, in Potomac, which reported an endowment of about $ 9 million in a 2017 tax return, said it would invest the money in wages “to ensure the retention of all of our faculty and our staff, including hourly employees and coaches, during this very difficult and uncertain time.

Neither school disclosed how much it received on loan.

Managed by the SBA, the $ 660 billion aid effort – officially known as the Paycheck Protection Program – has been disrupted by technical glitches, partisan bickering and widespread confusion over who is worthy of it.

Large state-owned enterprises have relied on their relationships with the banks, which provide the loans, while many main street businesses like ice cream shops, lounges and neighborhood restaurants have often found themselves left out.

This tension is played out in miniature in the world of private schools. While there is no suggestion that a school has used political ties to strengthen its candidacy, some larger institutions are able to appeal to board members and donors with ties to banks. .

“It’s a bit of a crazy thing going on – you can see the pitfalls of the program,” said Jennifer S. Danish, principal of Grace Episcopal Day School in Kensington, Md., Who she said, mainly served middle class students. “If you have a board member or a connection to a big bank, you are more likely to get it.”

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