A man standing up for the integrity of public schools.

November 8, 2011

Paul Scott: Ads in Rochester schools would be a disservice to our children

November 2, 2011 – Rochester (MN)Post Bulletin

I was disappointed to see this newspaper support the idea of selling ad space in Rochester public schools. A proposal before the school board would allow advertising in the hallways and public spaces. Classrooms and bathrooms would be off limits, but if the experience of other school districts around the country is to be our guide, you’re probably going to have to include the potential for advertising on buses, floors, cafeterias, parking lots, activity rooms, lockers, playgrounds and entryways.

The activities director at one local high school said that scoreboards, cable access channels and school websites would all be fair game. He singled out the ability to run commercials during intermission breaks at games.

I sympathize with the budgetary pressures faced by our schools, even if they are brought about in part thanks to anti-tax special interests and the loyal servants they have bankrolled in the state house. Like most parents in the system, I have done my small part to help my daughter’s school, whether it’s pulling out the checkbook to donate to the PTA or buying during fundraisers.  

I also understand that advertising in schools probably doesn’t seem like a complicated question to a lot of people, at least insofar as letting a local body shop hang its logo on the fence at a football game. As this paper says, “this plan could be a winner for just about everyone. Our schools could get a much-needed infusion of money… Local businesses would be able to reach a huge market with their advertising messages, and local consumers might be persuaded to spend more of their money here, with local companies.”

For the rest of the story: http://postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1473946


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