When the COVID-19 pandemic began, LEAD Public Schools and many other charter schools in Tennessee and across the country applied for and were granted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds. When the regulations related to accepting the funds changed, LEAD decided not to accept these funds to meet financial obligations.
Dwayne Tucker, CEO of LEAD Public Schools, shared this statement regarding news that many local charter schools applied for and kept PPP funding:
At LEAD Public Schools, we moved quickly to apply for the PPP funds, as did most charter schools, in order to ensure we could support our students and staff throughout the transition to virtual learning.
As soon as we knew those accepting PPP funds should only apply if they did not have access to capital, we returned the PPP funds so that other businesses without such support could have access to that federal assistance.
We have no comment on the decisions of other charter schools related to PPP funding. We wanted to share our thought process and actions with the LEAD community.