Blog: The Educated Reporter

Schools Sell Advertising to Close Budget Gaps

I spent more years than I care to remember working both Thanksgiving and the dreaded “Black Friday.” It’s the shopping season kickoff that supposedly sets the tone for the retail season.

Businesses might love it, but most reporters hate it. People are generally grouchy because they had to get up early on a holiday and schlep to the mall. Being interviewed about their shopping habits isn’t at the top of their list.

Participating in Black Friday — and covering it — has become much safer, now that the big box stores have largely abandoned the strategy of encouraging hundreds of people to sleep on the sidewalk, and then fight their way inside for the bargains.

The business of schooling is all about money these days, and in that spirit, I offer a few stories of public schools anxious to make some sales.

In Jefferson County, Colo., education officials will be selling advertising space … on student report cards (click here for the link to the local CBS affiliate’s report).

In Jordan, Utah, the local district is first to take advantage of a new state law allowing advertisements on school buses.

What’s the policy in your district? If states and local communities are unable to properly fund schools, is advertising really the answer?