Pa. school district may be wrapped in ads

March 25, 2011 3:12:21 PM PDT
Come September the lockers, the floors, the benches and bleachers at school buildings in the Pennsbury School District in Bucks County may turn in to billboards, of sorts.

The district has approved a recommendation from its revenue development committee to allow advertisements on these surfaces, which could generate a substantial amount of money for cash-strapped schools.

"Right now we're looking at a $7 million deficit and I know of no other way where we can get the $400,000 that comes into the district without any strings attached," said Allan Weisel of the Revenue Development Committee.

When the ads are up, lockers or other surfaces will be wrapped in colorful adhesive. But you won't see ads for candy or cigarettes - all the ads have to promote health, safety, nutrition or education.

? "The school board and the administration have final say as to what is advertised so we can use our judgment to what's best for Pennsbury children," said Weisel.

? Reaction to the idea is mixed. Some think it's an acceptable way to raise revenue.

"I guess the economy sucks right now and they've got to do what they've got to do," said parent Jennifer Ball.

But most parents we talked with don't think ?any kind of advertising belongs in schools.

? "It's definitely a good thing to try to bring in revenue and get some money for the schools but, at the same time, I don't think kids should be constantly exposed to advertisements," said parent Laura Stewart.

"I think it's?over the line. i think we should find other ways to save money rather than commercialize schools," said grandparent Alan Withey.

"They're distracted by cell phones, distracted by everything around them. I don't think they need any more distractions in school," said parent Denise Wilson.

The district has a two-year agreement with a company called "School Media" out of Minnesota.