More than 40,000 San Diego County businesses, organizations and nonprofits have received $ 1.4 billion in loans under the federal government’s Paycheque Protection Program (P3).
Among them were some of the more expensive private schools in San Diego County.
On Friday, one of those schools, La Jolla Country Day, announced that it was returning the money to the federal government.
“La Jolla Country Day School is in the fortunate circumstance of exceeding its enrollment target,” read a statement from Gary Krahn, principal of the school at Country Day. “As a result, the school is repaying the full $ 4.4 million loan the school received under the Paycheck Protection Program (P3) to keep people employed during the pandemic. ”
In his statement, Krahn praised school staff and administrators for adjusting and overcoming the challenges created by COVID-19. In doing so, Krahn said, the school no longer needed the money.
Krahn added, “The PPP loan was designed to keep people employed and support those who are the lifeblood of our nation’s future and spirit. LJCDS has promised to handle the loan with the utmost integrity. The repayment of the loan allows the school to fulfill an essential element of its mission: social responsibility.
But other elite local private schools have not been able to do so.
The $ 4.4 million raised by La Jolla Country Day was just under 20% of the $ 23.5 million that high-priced private schools received in the form of PPP loans, as first reported by NBC 7 Investigates.
Other schools receiving PPP loans were Francis Parker, the Jewish Academy of San Diego, the Saint Augustine School of San Diego, the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, the Catholic Cathedral, Mater Dei and Del Mar Pines.
In response to La Jolla Country Day’s decision to return the PPP money, NBC 7 Investigates contacted the other top private schools to see if those other schools were able to do the same.
In an email, Kevin Eckery, vice chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, said the Catholic Cathedral and Mater Dei used the PPP money to save jobs, which was the intention behind the program. PPP.
“The diocese has applied for PPP funds as have millions of other employers nationwide,” Eckery said. “As a result, hundreds of jobs in local Catholic schools have been saved and nearly 14,000 students have been able to continue their studies without interruption. “
At the Jewish Academy in San Diego, a spokesperson disliked the statement the academy provided to NBC 7 Investigates in July: Facilities at the Guard – by earmarking PPP funds toward qualifying mass spending salary, benefits and public services.
The statement added that without the PPP loan, a number of employees would have lost their jobs.
“Unlike many other independent schools,” the statement added, “SDJA does not have a large endowment or cash reserve to absorb these losses. Thanks to the PPP loan funds, we can remain on a solid financial footing. . “
Representatives for Francis Parker, Saint Augustine, Our Lady of Peace and Del Mar Pines did not respond to NBC 7 questions in time for publication. This article will be updated if they respond.