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  • Photo via Eva Rinaldi / Wikimedia Commons

Sports Leadership and Management, Inc., a sports-centric charter school operator in Miami whose founders include rap star Pitbull, received at least $ 1 million in interest-free federal loans to prevent layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to records released by the federal government this week.

The charter school operator, known as SLAM, received a loan of between $ 1 million and $ 2 million in April, according to data released by the federal Small Business Administration. The school used the loan, which is part of the paycheck protection program passed by Congress in April, to keep 220 jobs, the records show.

The federal program was designed to support businesses during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Pitbull, also known as “Mr. Around the World” and “Mr. 305”, is a strong promoter of the Charter School, which serves students in grades six to twelve.

The reggaeton superstar, real name Armando Christian Pérez, posted in June an Instagram video filmed atop a Miami SLAM school congratulating the Class of 2020.

“These are historic times, and you are going to be the ones to be the leaders of the new world,” Pitbull said in the video. “You guys are going to be the ones to make the difference.”

Sports Leadership and Management, Inc., the nonprofit qualified to receive the PPP loan, is not a charter school, SLAM officials said when asked for comment on Wednesday.

“Although it operates several charter schools, the entity also offers student and community service activities that are separate from schools,” the statement said. SLAM’s website says its mission is to “produce college students with an emphasis on sports-related majors and post-secondary preparation.”

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