Thursday, July 16, 2020

FL: The Broad Outlines of the PPP Cash-in

So it turns out that all you have to do to get some charter and voucher schools to admit they're businesses is just wave some sweet, sweet business-purposed money at them. We've heard the individual stories from here and there about this, but a friend of the Curmudgucation Institute sent along an astonishing piece of data crunching.

I don't have a handy way to attach a spreadsheet to this post, but you can do the work yourself if you want to head to the Small Business Administration site then start looking up other info for your state. I'm going to give you the big sweeping picture here. Just how many schools edu-flavored businesses had their hands out in Florida?

Charters

There are around 658 charter schools operating in Florida. At least 102 signed up for a PPP small business loan. Loans are okayed for a range of monies; the highest top amount a charter was okayed for is $5 million. River City Academy, Doral Academy, Youth Co-op Inc, Discovery Education Services, and Odyssey Charter School Inc were at the top for these biggest loans (minimum is $2 million).

Private 

Almost 400 private schools declared themselves small businesses. Of those, about 140 were just private schools, with the rest actually private religious schools (if they didn't call themselves religious, but had religious language all over their websites, they were counted as religious).

Of the non-religious private schools, about half (75) are also voucher schools. So not only grabbing taxpayer dollars via PPP, but also living on taxpayer dollars via one of Florida's many voucher programs. But of the 250+ private religious schools, only about 35 schools aren't taking vouchers. Everybody else on the list is double-dipping for Jesus. That makes roughly 300 voucher school signed up for PPP loans. In all fairness, I should note that Florida has something like 2000 voucher-accepting schools, so plenty are apparently happy to single dip at this time.

Other

There are some other edu-flavored outfits lined up for money as well, including some consulting firms.

Special Award

Special recognition goers to the Academica chain, a massive money-grabbing machine of edu-business, with schools in several of these categories. But it looks like at least ten of these beneficiaries are Academica properties.

Some grand totals

If every charter school on the list got only their minimum amount, that would add up to $47,850,000. If every private religious school got bottom dollar, that would be $96,450,000. So, a lot like real money. And you should remember that while PPP loans are loans, not grants, they all contain an option for forgiveness under certain conditions. So that's almost at least $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars (or it may be more accurate to say taxpayer's grandchildren's dollars) to help keep some education entrepreneurs afloat in Florida.

I think I would admit to being a business for that kind of money, too. In the meantime, as soon as the institute's COO teaches me more about excel, I'll get back to this pile of info.

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