Cash-strapped schools turn to advertising

I rarely predict the future correctly, as the Sony Rolly on my bedside bureau will attest, but in my opinion school buses will soon be riddled with more ads than Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR ride.

If a statue of Robert E. Lee at a public school is OK, why not an advertisement for Coca-Cola?

If a statue of Robert E. Lee at a public school is OK, why not an advertisement for a commercial product? (AP Photo of Lee High School in Montgomery, Ala.)

Cash-strapped public schools in the Dallas area are already plastering posters on buses and buildings. If it works there, it will be here before you can correctly recall the subtleties of long division.

So far, ads for banks, dentists and real estate have popped up.

Plenty of folks are alarmed, according to the Dallas Morning News.

School officials say they need new sources of funding due to state budget cuts.

“Under the current finances, I don’t think you can shy away from anything,” said Allen Independent School District spokesman Tim Carroll. “There’s a place for it when it can be done tastefully, especially in the context of a sporting venue. It’s not like we’re bringing in Hooters.”

I’m not sure how I feel about ads in schools. Anything that lowers the tax burden on those who don’t have kids in school would be a bonus in my book, but I fear school districts will simply find a way to spend more. As anyone who has ever covered government will tell you, spending has less to do with need than with preserving funding levels in next year’s budget.

Like the aforementioned Mr. Carroll, I think ads in schools can peacefully co-exist with young minds. Growing up, I seem to recall a number of ads on the Little League outfield wall, and even on my uniform, but I still managed to learn how to have an ERA higher than my shoe size.

14 comments Add your comment


April 3rd, 2012
9:25 am

I don’t want schools to seek additional funds via this ad thingy! I also don’t want to pay more in taxes. I want magical money! I am a normal American’t.


April 3rd, 2012
9:43 am

Bring on the ads. Money is money. No alcohol, cigs, or sleazy pics. If the money is truely used for education and not to line the gvmt leaders pockets and if it saves teacher jobs I vote to go for it. I remember a school that was near a major airport that put advertising on its roof so the people on the planes could see it.


April 3rd, 2012
9:57 am

I think that it is a creative idea and a great idea…
The problem that I see is that states are cutting funding to education. Education opens so many doors for so many people. Education is important. Other countries are investing money in education while we invest money in bombs.
Oh well….


April 3rd, 2012
9:57 am

School districts will find means to spend the extra money and put themselves back in the same predicament they are in now. There is enough money in most of our school systems, we must cut back on waste. Counties purchasing expensive furniture, meaningless technology, over staffing, etc are the causes of our educational crises. Our issue is the higher leadership and school boards that have put us here.


April 3rd, 2012
10:12 am

We’re funding education, in part, by the means of a lottery… despite good evidence that it has negative effects on the poor. (Addendum: it’s still a choice by individuals to play the lottery so I’m not excusing those who choose to wager their food money on a scratch-off ticket).

With that in mind, I don’t see how anyone who supports the lottery (or the idea of a lottery) can be opposed to advertising at schools or on school properties.

Greg Mendel

April 3rd, 2012
10:28 am

I think it’s a great idea and a good beginning. Advertising in textbooks is the next logical step. Tattooing ads on teachers will soon follow.

Henry Halloran

April 3rd, 2012
12:00 pm

This isnt a big issue. Anyone that was in school in the 90’s, do you remember Channel One? That was basically one big Pepsi advertisement every morning.

the guy

April 3rd, 2012
12:11 pm

How do public school systems spend more per capita on its students than private schools and still manage to pi$$ it all away?


April 3rd, 2012
12:35 pm

the guy, Much of the money is spent justifying the system to those politicians who are warring against public education. Much of the money is spent on special education in which a few students need 50X the amount of attention and money as regular education students. These students are, of course, not accepted into private schools. but, as Americans, we have historically embraced the idea that all are worth investment, until today’s republicans. What makes our public education the model to which the entire world is looking (e.g., Finland) is the principle which makes it so costly, though still not as costly as our “investment” overseas.


April 3rd, 2012
1:15 pm

@K-Ster I see I see what you did there. Very nice…..


April 3rd, 2012
1:21 pm

Next year when your local county refuses to run ads on buses for the Miss Universe contest because they feature a Canadian transgender from the year before, Gloria Allred will be suing your school system. Meanwhile, the national media will be camped out on your front lawn outraged at what a bunch of small minded biggots you are. How dare you think it is inapporpriate for elementary school kids to ride in a bus with a transgender plastered on the side. All you have to do is train teachers to explain it in class. I’m sure they can make an Arthur cartoon where Buster becomes a transgender.


April 3rd, 2012
1:41 pm

Why are buses orange? So they stick out. If you put advertising on the outside, it will camouflage the bus which I interpret as a safety violation. Inside would be OK as long as it doesn’t impair visibility or conflict with the districts moral codes.


April 3rd, 2012
2:02 pm

Athletic Fields are lined already with commercial advertisments…..High School Football Programs have it….Lunch Rooms cater with different fast foods in some schools. Its a wonder it hasn’t already been done. You are a naive little creature if you think for one moment that it is going to keep them from spending any more than they already have with all the funny money being spread around and cooking of books. I am worried about a future not in advertisement but a country has now become the lawless in no heads rolling for the corruption in everything government related. Wake up America!!!!!


April 3rd, 2012
2:46 pm

well you will hit a wall soon, you can’t advertise churches either.

IF yuo have a budget why not try and stick to that then the need to seek money elsewhere would seemingly go away. I understand that taxes have changed due to foreclosures, ect. so the school system may not ahve predicted correctly, but we have been doing this for a while.\

If you start off your budget at 1 million and you know when you are clse to spending 1 million, then yuo need to cancel all spending. or have an emergency fund.
WHy is budgeting different for the school system than it is for a business or a home….