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Santee School Board: Ads on Campus

The school board discusses the possibility of placing ads on campus, in the classroom, in school buses or even on school websites.

Tuesday night's Santee School District Board Meeting featured a topic that is on the tongues of many districts around the country: making up for budget deficits by placing paid advertisements on school campuses.

They board unanimously voted to reject any of the suggested ways of advertising, such as: on buildings around campus, inside of school buses (i.e. Coca Cola seats) and ad space on school websites.

The "school facilities belong to the community, and shouldn't be sold off to highest bidder, piece by piece," said board trustee Diane El-Hajj.

The district isn't alone in its stance as the San Diego City School District board also opted to reject any paid advertising from private corporations.

The topic was presented by representatives of the Santee School District administration who sought advice from the board on the matter.

"The district already receives a substantial amount of money in donations from corps or individuals, but those don't come with any benefit for the donor other than philanthropic," said Assistant Superintendent Karl Christensen, who laid out the basic options to the board.

He said the difference would be an exchange of some commodity of value, namely, the attention of school children.

Reasons given by the board for rejecting the advertising idea included:

  • It would take a considerable amount of effort coming up with procedures and processes.
  • Limited staff, cost of staffing an extra person to deal with advertising matters.
  • Revenue from these types of ventures is not sustainable or consistent, hard to budget from year to year
  • Ads might scare off donors and learning partnerships that already exist.
  • The ideological or philosophical differences of opinion of whether or not it's appropriate to advertise to children in their learning environment.

A video of the full 12 minute discussion is here.

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