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Capturing Future Customers

Colorado’s Jefferson County Schools, the largest school district in the state, will allow First Bank of Colorado access to its students in the form of advertising on its buses, on its website, and in every high school gym.  Company promos will be made during varsity sporting events. For access to the district’s 84,000 students and their families, the bank will pay $500,000 over four years. 

School bus ad  It should be noted that Jefferson County Schools aren’t the only ones that are trying to close their budget gap by allowing various businesses to advertise on buses.   Another half-dozen states including Florida, Tennessee, and Texas also allow advertising on school buses and other states are considering it.

Some have joked that maybe the district could raise even more revenue by requiring teachers to wear uniforms with the Nike logo.  Or maybe they could wear Pizza Hut hats and aprons so that everyone has equal access to our kids’ developing ideas.  And the naming possibilities are endless:  Exxon Middle School.  Lysol Elementary.  Honda High.  Kids will surely learn that if these companies and their products are “endorsed” by our school, they must be good, right? 

One has to wonder where exactly that additional revenue will be applied. Salaries?  Benefits?  Even materials and supplies aren’t worth it. This is the kind of attitude that elevated Ronald McDonald to his beloved status among elementary kids – right below Santa Claus. 

We’re supposed to be helping kids develop into lifelong learners, not lifelong customers.

 

 

 

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Practical Leadership are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.