April 2nd, 2012

Ads on buses, buildings boost revenue for cash-strapped Dallas-area schools

By Jessica Meyers
Dallas Morning News

Splayed across school buses, embedded in test papers and even splashed on campus roofs, advertisements have crept into the once sacred realm of the school zone.

Marketers find an eager host in the state’s school districts, which are scrounging for funds to bolster baseline budgets. Just this school year, North Texas districts have started launching companies’ ads in parent newsletters, plastering signs on campus vehicles and booking commercials on video scoreboards. But as more schools embrace this option, questions emerge about the commercialization of public education and the effort’s real beneficiaries.

“Schools should be a place where students grow into critical thinkers and develop skills that enable them to question established ideas,” said Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, the author of an analysis released last month by Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer interest group. “Marketing and ads targeting students is running in the opposite direction.”

Read more: http://dallasne.ws/HILhCi

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