Should Districts Allow Advertising Campaigns on School Grounds?

Does your child’s school allow advertising on school grounds as a source of income for its regular budget? If not, it might just be a matter of time. With school budgets shrinking across the country, school districts are considering funding sources that would have been unacceptable just five years ago.

The latest districts to consider on-site advertising are in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan, where some districts have already laid off teachers, privatized janitorial and transportation staff, and closed some schools to stay afloat. Some see allowing advertising on school grounds as inappropriate, but in cash-strapped districts such as Metro Detroit, many parents and administrators are taking the attitude that the schools should do ‘whatever it takes’ to become fiscally responsible.

Most advertising will come from credit unions, car dealerships, banks and restaurants and the school has the final say on the advertising. Almost all of the advertising will be marketed toward the parents of high school students and will appear in places where the parents will be present, such as in the gymnasium for a basketball game or the auditorium to watch a student performance.

Many parents point out that students are already exposed to advertising while using the internet for school assignments, while driving by billboards, while going shopping and so do not feel that limited advertising at high schools would be detrimental to the high school students themselves. What do you think? Is this something that is being tried in your area? Is it working?

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