In this 2018 file photo, a sign is seen in an entryway at The Academy of Classical Christian Studies, an Oklahoma City private school (Whitney Bryen/Oklahoma Watch).

Oklahoma private schools have qualified for federal relief funds in several ways. 

Those include a tuition grant program created by Gov. Kevin Stitt, the Paycheck Protection Program, and a newly created federal program for non public schools. 

Stay in School Fund

One of the education relief programs Stitt created was the Stay in School Fund, using $10 million for tuition grants for returning private school students to remain in their schools. The fund gave out 1,893 awards averaging $5,132 each, according to a report by the governor’s office. 

Just over half (57%) of the recipients were considered low-income, with a family income of 185% of the federal poverty level or less. 

More than 15,000 students applied for tuition assistance, according to the governor’s office. The most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics showed 31,500 Oklahoma students attended private school in 2017. 

The funds came from Stitt’s $39.9 million allocation under the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, authorized by the CARES Act. The purpose of the fund is to provide emergency assistance to K-12, higher education and other education related entities for COVID-19.

Stitt has yet to announce plans for the $17.7 million he will receive from the second round of that federal funding through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools program

Under this program, created by Congress under that same act, Oklahoma qualified for nearly $31 million. State governors have to apply for it and Oklahoma has already been approved. The state Education Department will distribute the funds.

Schools applying for funds through the program must be: non-profit; accredited, licensed or otherwise legal; in existence prior to March 13, 2020; and have not/will not receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan after Dec 27, 2020. Schools that received a Paycheck Protection Program loan before that date are eligible, as are faith-based schools.

Private schools can apply for funding or reimbursement for many services and items related to COVID-19 including sanitizing supplies, physical barriers, personal protective equipment, technology and many other items. More information can be found on the U.S. Department of Education website.  

Paycheck Protection Program

This program was created in March to help small businesses and nonprofits keep staff employed during the COVID-19 crisis. Loans are partially or fully forgivable if businesses keep employee counts and wages stable.

Private schools, as well as charter schools, educating K-12 students received an estimated $6 billion through the program, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization focusing on fiscal policy. 

Traditional public schools are not eligible but instead received direct allocations through the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund. Charter schools, owing to their quasi-public-private structure, qualified for both the Paycheck Protection Program and direct allocations.

Private Schools Receiving Federal Funds

The governor’s office provided Oklahoma Watch a list of the 97 schools and the number of funds disbursed to each through the Stay in School program, shown below.  We searched a database of Paycheck Protection Program recipients for all the schools in the Stay in School grant program and added those amounts in the right column.  In some instances, a related entity received the loan; for instance, a church that operates a private school. Those amounts are not reflected in the table. 

School NameLocationAmount AwardedPaycheck Protection Program loan
All Saints Catholic SchoolBroken Arrow$21,330
All Saints Catholic SchoolNorman$26,342
Altus Christian AcademyAltus$58,850$128,500
Antioch Christian AcademyMoore$47,621$32,900
Ardmore Adventist AcademyArdmore$3,750
Bishop John Carroll SchoolOklahoma City$121,539$220,449
Bishop Kelley High SchoolTulsa$323,950$1,341,000
Bishop McGuinness Catholic High SchoolOklahoma City$403,000$1,079,600
Boulevard Christian SchoolMuskogee$51,000
Cascia Hall Preparatory SchoolTulsa$71,500$1,227,555
Christ the King SchoolOklahoma City$22,575
Christian Heritage AcademyDel City$591,500$656,500
Christian Montessori AcademyTulsa$34,075$62,600
Claremore Christian SchoolClaremore$82,330
Corn Bible AcademyCorn$69,280$126,900
Cornerstone Christian Academy of South Oklahoma CityOklahoma City$24,750$20,900
Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School, Inc.Oklahoma City$780,000$356,400
Crossings Christian SchoolOklahoma City$148,625
Crossover PrepTulsa$526,500$267,300
Destiny Christian SchoolDel City$273,199$391,900
Eagle Point Christian AcademySapulpa$18,020$124,800
Emmanuel Christian SchoolEnid$57,970$140,000
Family of Faith Christian SchoolShawnee$18,000
First Lutheran SchoolPonca City$11,007
Good Shepherd Catholic SchoolOklahoma City$13,000$247,800
Good Shepherd Lutheran SchoolMidwest City$21,960
Higher Plain Christian AcademyOklahoma City$17,700
Holland Hall SchoolTulsa$227,500$1,990,000
Holy Family Cathedral SchoolTulsa$105,638
Holy Trinity Lutheran SchoolEdmond$21,400
Holy Trinity SchoolOkarche$58,400
Hope Harbor AcademyClaremore$19,500
Immanuel Lutheran Christian AcademyBroken Arrow$42,359
Keystone Adventure School and FarmEdmond$12,680$133,400
King's Gate Christian SchoolYukon$12,250$158,800
Lakewood Christian SchoolMcAlester$34,074
Legacy Christian AcademyBroken Arrow$37,180
Life Christian AcademyChoctaw$6,298$143,200
Lighthouse Christian AcademyTulsa$69,350
Lincoln Christian SchoolTulsa$303,964
Little Light Christian SchoolOklahoma City$26,000$87,570
Marquette Catholic SchoolTulsa$58,193
Messiah Lutheran SchoolOklahoma City$14,800*
Metro Christian AcademyTulsa$289,875
Mingo Valley Christian SchoolTulsa$45,500$291,800
Mission Academy High SchoolOklahoma City$6,500
Monte Cassino SchoolTulsa$19,500$1,059,100
Mount St. Mary Catholic High SchoolOklahoma City$199,825$678,300
Mt. Olive Lutheran SchoolMiami$10,800$28,400
Muskogee Seventh-Day Adventist Christian AcademyMuskogee$6,600
Odyssey Leadership AcademyOklahoma City$6,000$58,200
Oklahoma Bible AcademyEnid$240,340$309,900
Oklahoma Christian AcademyEdmond$130,212$448,200
Oklahoma Christian SchoolEdmond$19,500$1,031,400
Paths to IndependenceBartlesville$42,769$138,900
Positive TomorrowsOklahoma City$377,000$261,200
Rejoice Christian SchoolOwasso$39,000$1,001,800
Riverfield Country Day SchoolTulsa$48,030$1,224,700
Rosary Catholic SchoolOklahoma City$47,996
Sacred Heart Catholic SchoolEl Reno$8,140
Sacred Heart Catholic SchoolOklahoma City$103,400
School of Saint MaryTulsa$54,392
Shiloh Christian SchoolTahlequah$42,000$30,500
SNU Lab SchoolBethany$120,375
Solid Foundation Preparatory AcademyTulsa$5,280
Southwest Covenant SchoolsYukon$116,794$355,300
St. Augustine AcademyTulsa$38,877$154,600
St. Catherine Catholic SchoolTulsa$79,625
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic SchoolOklahoma City$58,726
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic SchoolEdmond$76,395
St. Eugene Catholic SchoolOklahoma City$110,088
St. James Catholic SchoolOklahoma City$203,500
St. John Catholic SchoolBartlesville$4,510
St. John Lutheran SchoolMoore$23,291$76,400
St. John Nepomuk Catholic SchoolYukon$34,880
St. John's Lutheran SchoolMoore$14,356
St. Joseph Catholic SchoolMuskogee$122,791
St. Mary Catholic SchoolPonca City$33,388
St. Paul's Community SchoolOklahoma City$128,500$43,700
St. Philip Neri CatholicMidwest City$88,250
St. Pius X Catholic SchoolTulsa$234,451
Stillwater Christian SchoolStillwater$71,435$63,600
Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic SchoolTulsa$237,000
Summit Christian AcademyBroken Arrow$13,000
The Academy of Classical Christian StudiesOklahoma City$177,500$598,179
Town & Country SchoolTulsa$65,000$420,300
Trinity SchoolOklahoma City$30,580$137,900
Tulsa Adventist AcademyTulsa$30,850
Tulsa Hope AcademyTulsa$39,000$23,100
Undercroft Montessori SchoolTulsa$39,000$361,600
Veritas Christian School Inc.Sulphur$4,100$27,100
Victory Christian SchoolTulsa$435,240
Victory Life AcademyDurant$96,600$179,400
Western Oklahoma Christian SchoolClinton$74,000$132,000
Westminster SchoolOklahoma City$34,030$1,047,700
Wright Christian AcademyTulsa$192,950$193,100
Young Achievers Christian AcademyOklahoma City$55,300$42,900

Jennifer Palmer has been a reporter with Oklahoma Watch since 2016 and covers education. Contact her at (405) 761-0093 or Follow her on Twitter @jpalmerOKC.

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