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Should Schools be Selling Ads?

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Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting issues.

This week’s Moms Talk topic relates to school districts selling advertising:

The topic of schools selling ads has been a pretty hot one in parts of the Lehigh Valley this week. The East Penn School District superintendent says that while he thinks bus ads push the envelope too far, he would consider Web site ads. The arguments in favor of schools selling ads are pretty simple – it beats raising taxes and kids are exposed to ads elsewhere anyway. The reasons against are straightforward too. It’s a slippery slope. Schools are in the education business, not the ad business. We want to know what you think.

Share your thoughts:

Should schools be selling ads?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
  • Jennifer Willenbrock of Nazareth is mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 6 weeks. She was previously employed by Catholic Charities, where she worked in a girl’s group home in Philipsburg, N.J.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Jennifer Elston January 24, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I guess I didn't answer the real question! I don't think it is necessarily right for the district to place ads on the district web page, however, if it was done tastefully I would have no problem with it. Perhaps a separate page dedicated to the ads?
Artie January 24, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Jennifer. I would like to know why you don't think its right for the district to take ads for its web site or any other media for that matter. I would be confident that the school district would be very selective in the type of ads that they would post. Secondly, If I was a business paying for an ad and was told the ad was on a separate page I wouldn't buy it. Most people would not go to the separate page.
Jennifer Elston January 25, 2012 at 12:32 AM
I just don't feel like a school district web site should include anything other than school business on it. As a small business owner myself, I agree that a separate page for adverts isn't ideal. But, as a parent who needs the district web site to be clear and concise, I prefer an ad free zone.
Mom of DnNnD January 25, 2012 at 01:08 AM
According to all the information I have read so far, and not just the generic question posed here. The ads would be in the school buses. The ads are magnetized and a little above the bus driver's head. No graffiti unless the bus driver allows children to stand by him and doesn't pay attention. The ads also must be based on education, health, nutrition and safety. These are all things we should be enforicng anyway. Also, the ads would only appear for middle school and high school no elementary students. BTW, I support this and I have 2 children currently in school and 1 more that will be entering school.
Mary Anne Looby January 25, 2012 at 01:25 AM
@Mom of DnNnD, from the sound of it you seem to know more about this than most of us. If what you have read is what they (school districts) are intending, then I cannot imagine objecting to it.

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