TV commercials. Online pop-up ads. Roadside billboards. Sometimes school may feel like one of the few places you’re able to escape advertising messages. Or is it?
Faced with budget cuts, a growing number of districts nationwide are allowing companies to place ads on school property, including lunchrooms, gyms, parking lots, and buses. The arrangement can benefit both parties. Schools earn money because businesses pay them to advertise on campus. Businesses, meanwhile, are able to reach potential new customers: you and your friends.
People in favor of allowing ads on school grounds say it’s a great way for districts to bring in extra money without having to raise taxes in the community. The funds can be used for everything from paying teachers’ salaries to buying musical instruments. Plus, supporters say, kids already see ads almost everywhere they look. What’s the harm in seeing them at school as well?
But opponents say allowing ads on school grounds isn’t the answer to shrinking budgets. Exposing students to products that appear to be endorsed by school officials is problematic, they argue, especially when the ads are for things like sugary cereals or fast food.
Should ads be allowed on school grounds? Two experts weigh in.