“Latin is committed to minimizing the disruption to our students, families and employees from the pandemic and to ensuring the school’s stability over the long term,” said school principal Randall Dunn in a statement sent via email. “Given the uncertainty of the situation, we have taken all appropriate steps, including seeking program support (Paycheck Protection Program loans).”
A spokeswoman declined to say how much the school is requesting or if it is a permit. The law that approves the emergency program limits loans to $ 10 million. They can be converted into scholarships after two months if the recipients keep their staff on the payroll.
The decision, first published by the Forum, the school’s newspaper, has fueled debate within the Latin school community about whether it is appropriate for an institution with a sizable foundation and a number of wealthy parents and alumni to raise money for small businesses that need to be closed or are reducing their operations. Latin’s foundation assets were $ 58.5 million at the end of 2018, according to a filing with the IRS.
According to the newspaper, more than 80 percent of annual Latin sales come from teaching, which has not been cut and partially refunded.
“Other local businesses and nonprofits have lost practically everything; Keeping a guaranteed 81% would probably be a relief for them, ”Co-Editor-in-Chief Peter Jones wrote in one April 18 piece investigate the problem.
Francis W. Parker, another of the city’s most prominent private schools, has taken the opposite approach.
“We felt this was an option that we needed to explore and understand, but ultimately not an option that we wanted to exercise,” wrote spokesman Nick Saracino in an email. “As Parker will feel the impact of COVID-19 as a community, as an institution with ongoing revenues and solid facilities, we will make it through this challenging period. Other small businesses and nonprofits may not – and these organizations will need the limited PPP resources more than we do. “
The third of the most high-profile private schools in Chicago, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, do not qualify for the loans because the university’s staff count exceeds the threshold.
There is strong demand for PPP loans. The initial grant of $ 349 billion was spoken less than two weeks after the program was passed. Small businesses across the area reported closing, while large restaurant chains like Potbelly and Ruth’s Chris Steak House received millions through their banks. New York-based chain Shake Shack announced earlier this week that it would repay its $ 10 million loan and asked for it to be redistributed to independent restaurants in need of help. Chicago Potbelly, on the other hand, said it would Keep the $ 10 million arguing that it supports its workers.
A second round of financing with 320 billion