Colorado School Board Sells Advertising on Report Cards

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
In need of new revenues because of budget cuts, a Colorado school district has approved the printing of advertisements on student report cards.
The Jefferson County School District, west of Denver, will receive $90,000 over three years for running a two-inch ad in elementary students’ grade notices that promotes CollegeInvest, a state-run program that administers college savings programs.
“Facing $70 million in budget reductions over the next two years, we really do need to be creative,” Lorie Gillis, chief financial officer for Jeffco Schools, told Denver’s 9 News.
Angela Baier, chief marketing officer for CollegeInvest, said the advertisements are a “win-win for both of us” since both parties are involved in education. The ads will get parents thinking about saving for college, Baier added, who admitted the move by Jeffco Schools could raise questions.
“Where do you stop with commercialization of the school district?” Baier said. “What’s your intent? Are we just going to start seeing advertisements everywhere?”
In fact, public school advertising is spreading. Since late 2009, Orange County, Florida, has been selling advertising at sports events and even on the school lunch menu. Even before that, in March 2009, Jeb Harrison, a social studies teacher in Pocatello, Idaho, cut a deal with a local pizzeria to buy 10,000 pieces of paper with a pizza ad on the bottom to be used for tests and other purposes. Other school districts have sold advertising on school buses.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
District to Place Ad on Report Cards (by Lori Obert and Nelson Garcia, 9 News-Denver)
Pennsylvania District Allows Advertising in Public Schools (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Idaho Teacher Sells Pizza Ads on High School Tests (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov) 


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