WH official says Trump believes K-12 private schools should give back PPP funds

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE has reportedly said he believes elite K-12 private schools should return federal funds distributed under an emergency small business loan program amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a White House official, Politico reported.

The comment from the White House official came after Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Top Democrats say postmaster confirmed changes to mail service amid delays MORE tweeted Friday advising private schools “with significant endowments” to return funds received under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a small business loan program created as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

Under the program, small businesses would not have to repay a low-interest loan as long as the funds went to essential expenses, such as maintaining payroll.


Mnuchin’s comments come amid reports that his own children attend a Los Angeles school that received a loan, according to Politico. 

The New York Times first reported that St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, which is attended by Trump’s son, Barron Trump, also received a federal loan.


"The president has made it clear that he does not believe private schools with significant endowments should be receiving PPP money and those that have should consider returning it,” Trump spokesperson Judd Deere told Politico.

A spokesperson for the school told the outlet that St. Andrew’s will use the funds to “ensure retention of our full faculty and staff, including hourly employees and coaches, during this very challenging and uncertain time.”

“If the terms of the program change, we will review to make sure we are in compliance and adjust accordingly,” spokesperson Richard Coco told Politico.

Brentwood School in Los Angeles, where Mnuchin’s children are enrolled, told the Los Angeles Times that it will use a PPP loan to address future declines in giving and enrollment.

Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. where the daughters of former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden's immigration plan has serious problems Hearing for Twitter hack suspect Zoom-bombed by porn, rap music Read: Sally Yates testimony MORE and former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonGiuliani says Black Lives Matter is 'domestic terrorist' group We have the resources to get through this crisis, only stupidity is holding us back Biden needs to bring religious Americans into the Democratic fold MORE attended school, also received a loan through the program. 


Sidwell Friends' board of trustees said in a Wednesday memo to the school community that it accepted a $5.2 million loan “in light of actual and anticipated shortfalls, mounting uncertainty” and “the importance of maintaining employment levels,” The New York Times reported.

“We recognize that our decision to accept this loan may draw criticism from some quarters of the community,” the school said. It has a $53.4 million endowment.

The Hill has reached out to The White House, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Brentwood School and Sidwell Friend School for comment.