When a school district faces a $6 million deficit, it has two options: decrease spending or increase revenue. While we’ve already seen some of the effects of cost-cutting measures, it’s time to increase income in order to allow Tredyffrin/Easttown to continue to be the distinguished school district it is today. Therefore, I encourage the School Board to pursue advertising in the school. Teenagers are one of advertisers’ most sought-after audiences, and there’s no better place to target them than in a high school—especially in an area as affluent as T/E.
Advertisements have appeared in school’s yearbooks, newspapers and playbills for decades, so it’s time to think outside the box and expand our horizons into hallways and sports fields.
Advertisements placed in “non-instructional areas” such as sports fields pose no risk to distracting from the learning environment. Think of Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field, the Wells Fargo Center—aside from the fact that they’re all home to Philadelphia’s beloved sports teams, they’re also all named after financial institutions, and filled to the brim with advertisements.
While it may seem like we’re already bombarded with advertisements online, on TV, on buses and on park benches, what’s the harm in seeing a few in school? Advertisements are more than just a source of generating extra cash; they help introduce consumers to new products. Without them, we would be unfamiliar and uninformed every time we entered a store.
One could argue that school is not an appropriate place for children to be exposed to advertising, but advertising takes many forms. Everywhere we look, t-shirts, sweatshirts, backpacks and water bottles display their respective brand names. Whether we realize it or not, advertising is all around us. The only difference is that ads in school would directly benefit our school, in addition to the companies we choose to patronize.
In an economy that’s hard on schools, taxpayers and retailers, I appreciate the School Board’s creativity in coming up with new ways of raising money. While tax hikes may prove necessary in these challenging times, they’re not the only way to support our school’s wonderful programs and employees.
While advertisements alone are not enough to resolve the deficit, they would be a welcome supplement to increased taxes. And they may be just what T/E needs to make money without making sacrifices.