Elite Brentwood School Returns Small Business Loan

Federal Paycheck Protection Program loan returned by Brentwood School

By Sam Catanzaro

An elite private high school on the Westside with ties to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has returned a federal small business loan after receiving much pushback.

On Monday, we reported that Brentwood School, an elite private high school in Brentwood, received a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

After this article was published, the school informed us that they had returned the loan.

“Brentwood School’s decision on April 3rd to apply for the Payroll Protection Program under the CARES Act involved an in-depth evaluation of the school’s financial position in relation to the originally published government guidelines. However, a great deal has changed in the intervening weeks. In that time, the government has published a number of updates and revisions to the original parameters as it became clear the federal funds initially provided were not enough to staunch the incredible need that exists nationally,” a spokesperson for Brentwood School wrote in a statement. “Throughout the last week, we carefully considered the added clarifications as well as the growing understanding that, unfortunately, not all who qualify will receive PPP funds. Given these factors, the Board has voted unanimously to decline the loan. We have returned the funds so they can be distributed to others who are in greater need of the assistance.”

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Brentwood School announced in a recent newsletter that it had received a PPP 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 did not apply for a PPP loan.

According to an IRS filing obtained by the Times, Brentwood School’s endowment was around $17.4 million in 2017. Tuition at Brentwood School ranges from $37,500 – $44,000.

Among Brentwood School’s over 1,100 students 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 told private schools to return any loans the may have received.

“It has come to our attention that some private schools with significant endowments have taken #PPP loans. They should return them,” Mnuchin wrote.

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