Welcome to Cashing in on Kids, a newsletter for people fighting to stop the privatization of America’s public schools—produced by In the Public Interest.

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Private and charter schools are getting 6 times more CARES Act funding per school than public schools. Good Jobs First reports in its Covid Stimulus Watch that private and charter schools received approximately $5.7 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, raising questions about equity in education.

Approximately 1,200 charter schools and 5,400 private schools received an estimated $1.3 billion and $4.5 billion in PPP loans, respectively—averaging $855,000 per school. In contrast, other parts of the CARES Act allocate only $13.2 billion for all of the 98,158 public schools in the country, or $134,500 per school. Good Jobs First

The charter school industry is swimming in federal government money as Black-owned small businesses suffer. Journalist Jeff Bryant: “The charter school industry has done much during the COVID-19 pandemic to add to systemic inequities that afflict Black communities by hijacking small business relief aid originally intended for minority-owned businesses and redirecting these funds to schools that further isolate Black families.” Citizen Truth

Virtual charter school corporations are cashing in during the pandemic. According to ChalkbeatK12 Inc., the country’s largest operator of virtual schools, says enrollment has jumped from 123,000 students last year to 170,000 this year. Connections Academy, the country’s second largest virtual school network, says applications have jumped 61 percent. Chalkbeat

NAACP questions proposed South Carolina charter school. South Carolina’s Sumter Branch NAACP has released a statement questioning approval of the new Liberty STEAM Charter School to operate in Sumter County beginning in the 2021 school year. “The NAACP has historically been in strong support of public education, and we denounce any movement toward privatization that diverts public funds to support non-public school choices.” The Sumter Item

Cost of Maryland school construction public-private partnership skyrockets. A school board member is questioning the exploding cost of a public-private partnership (P3) to build and maintain schools for decades in Maryland’s Prince George’s County. The county would be the nation’s first jurisdiction to use private capital to build public schools and could be a harbinger of the future of building public schools as state and local revenue plummet. Capital Gazette

In good news… Chicago Public Schools will expand free meal sites this fall. Book Club Chicago

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