Update: Brentwood School has informed us that the school has returned the shipment. See the statement below explaining the decision.
Federal Paycheque Protection Program loan to Brentwood School
By Sam Catanzaro
An elite private school in Brentwood with ties to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin received a loan from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Brentwood School announced in a recent newsletter that it had received a P3 loan. According to the letter, the loan was approved and funded in mid-April. Other elite private schools like Harvard-Westlake have announced that they have not applied for a P3 loan.
According to an IRS statement obtained by the Times, the Brentwood School endowment was approximately $ 17.4 million in 2017. Tuition fees at Brentwood School range from $ 37,500 to $ 44,000.
Among the more than 1,100 students at Brentwood School are the children of Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, according to the Times. While Mnuchin denied any knowledge of the loan, in a tweet, the Treasury Secretary asked private schools to return any loans they may have received.
“It has come to our attention that some private schools with large endowments have taken out #PPP loans. They should return them, ”Mnuchin wrote.
The Brentwood School newsletter announcing the P3 funding did not specify the loan amount.
The Santa Monica mirror contacted Brentwood School to ask them, given the size of the school’s endowment, how can the school justify applying for and keeping a loan for small businesses with little or no money in their pockets. In addition, the Mirror asked if the school had any contacts or conversations with Mnuchin or a member of the federal government before receiving the loan and if they were planning to repay the loan. After 72 hours, the school did not respond.
The Brentwood School’s decision on April 3 to apply for the Payroll Protection Program under the CARES Act involved a thorough assessment of the school’s financial position against originally issued government guidelines. However, a lot changed in the weeks that followed. During this period, the government released a number of updates and revisions to the original settings as it became apparent that the federal funds initially provided were not sufficient to meet the incredible need that exists nationwide.
Throughout the past week, we have carefully considered the added clarifications as well as the growing understanding that unfortunately not all eligible people will receive P3 funds. Considering these factors, the Council voted unanimously to deny the loan. We have returned the funds so that they can be distributed to others who need more help.
Without PPP funds, cost reduction measures and targeted budget management are more important than ever. We strive to maintain the financial health of the school while preserving the full Brentwood experience as delivered daily by our teachers and staff. We are extremely grateful for the loyalty and continued support of our current families, grandparents, alumni, alumni parents, faculty and staff, and we are confident in our ability to meet these challenges together.