Disparities in CARES Act Funding for West Virginia Schools

By Mellissa Chang
January 6, 2021
Over 5,400 private schools across the country received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), amounting to an estimated $4.5 billion—approximately $833,000 per school. West Virginia follows this trend with 18 private schools receiving an estimated $5.8 million in PPP loans, or $322,000 per school.
CARES Act funding for public education, however, was not as generous. West Virginia was allocated $78 million in grants for its 768 Title I public schools through the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). Although the ESSER program is primarily for public schools, private schools with Title I-eligible students are also entitled to a portion of these funds. ESSER disclosures indicate that participating private schools received more than $3.3 million in ESSER grants, reducing the funding for public schools to $75 million, or $97,000 per school, only a third of what the average private school received through the PPP loan program.
At the student level, PPP loans to private schools amount to approximately $1,137 per pupil. Meanwhile, only $603 was allocated for each Title I public school student, or $578 after the distribution of equitable shares to private schools.
Visit our CARES education page for more information about education funding in the CARES Act.