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Corporate Sponsors in L.A. Schools: Good Money or Selling Out?

The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education just approved a measure to seek corporate sponsors of athletic stadiums and gear for students like drums for the band, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Critics are uncomfortable with the move because they say it is the public and not private companies that should fund schools. From the L.A. Times:

Under the approved rules, the district superintendent could ink agreements up to $500,000, with school-board approval required for larger amounts. Sponsors would not be able to sell or market specific products to children; instead, they would have “branding” opportunities.

Examples could include signs on scoreboards or naming rights to auditoriums or athletic fields or a brand name on a drum purchased with a corporate donation.

"Let me tell you, this is all advertising," L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines said, adding, "we’re not going to put advertising where it offends." ....One estimate put potential annual revenue at $18 million, but Cortines cautioned that such expectations might be overly optimistic. The district already was able to preserve some sports programs with a fundraising effort that netted about $1.5 million.

"We’re asking for help from our corporate community," said board President Monica Garcia. "We’re trying to get help."

It's a shame the corporate community has hemmed and hawed about taxes that would actually benefit the public schools. What do you all think about these corporate sponsorships?


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