October 3rd, 2011
Centennial says 'No' to ads in schools
By Nicholas Backus
Quad Community Press
Centennial schools said “No” to posting advertising on school hallway walls and lockers at a Nov. 1 school board meeting.
Board members have struggled with the pros and cons of the ads since they were first proposed to the district by Coon Rapids-based provider School Media’s six months ago. Several board members said they were “on the fence” over the issue, and board member Cindy Norton said she was still on the fence when it came time for the vote, which ended in a 3-3 split. At Centennial, a motion fails if it doesn’t attain a positive majority.
Norton was one of three who supported the ads, which would have brought an additional $90,000 in funding for the district through June 2011. Approval of the contract last night would have constituted only six months of the ads before renewal talks for the 2011-12 school year, she reasoned.
“If we don’t try it we won’t know if it would be a good or bad thing,” Norton said. “We won’t know if it’s distracting or if it’s something we want to pursue.”
Perhaps the most surprising “No” vote came from John Burns, who said he previously supported the additional funding until he received numerous “passionate” e-mails from parents against the proposal.