They dominate the high school scene, plastered on everything from the glossy chorus programs to the banners encircling the football field. Traditionally, advertisements have helped fund athletic, art and music programs. However, as operating costs rise and budgets are slashed, schools are left facing substantial disparity.

Recently, public high schools in California and Minnesota have found an innovative solution to their financial dilemma within an expanded realm of advertising. Now national brands and local businesses can advertise on almost any surface of the schools, including walls, floors, lockers and even buses. By covering a mere 10 percent of surfaces, one district alone can add $200,000 to its annual budget, a factor Florida public schools should seriously consider. The future of the public educational system in Florida is hanging in a precarious position. The time has passed for old solutions to new problems; we must now turn to new solutions for decreased budgets. Allowing businesses to advertise could potentially add $14.8 million annually to the educational budget based on the revenue generated by Minnesota schools, helping save those programs in jeopardy.

Since the dawn of advertising youth have been one of the most valuable markets businesses can cater to. Nearly $250 billion is spent annually marketing to our nation’s youth, each child viewing an average of 3,000 ads per day, according to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Teenagers spend about $155 billion per year and influence another $200 billion of their parents’ spending, both reasons why companies around the world are eager to tap into such a lucrative market.

Allowing vendors to advertise in Florida’s schools is the easiest solution to our financial woes, far easier than reallocating budgets through months of tied-up legislation. Businesses are itching to find newer, better mediums through which they can reach the teenage market. Garnering advertisers in Orange County’s public high schools could pay for anything
from books to new teacher salaries, and the money source would be continuous.

Funding every high school’s classes is no easy feat, and Florida should realize they are doing miserably at upkeep. It is better to recognize, and then actively work to solve the problem, than continue to slash funding and push the blame onto another’s shoulders. On our own campus, calculus books are held together with duct tape, silverfish can be found in geometry textbooks and the photography classes lack paper to print their images upon. If Florida were to turn to advertising, all these problems would be alleviated, if not solved. These additional funds would help save all the programs high schoolers enjoy most, yet are the first to be cut: art and music. Boone boasts recognition in these programs, yet each could potentially be removed if further budget cuts ensue.

The largest argument against advertising in schools is that it places undue influence upon students, taking advantage
of growing minds. However, do teens not already see more than 3,000 advertisements per day? Advertisements are already in school papers, chorus and football programs, banners in gyms and stands and on vending machines. The advertising world has already permeated the campus. Allowing companies to advertise on lockers and buses would be no more influential than the existing advertisements already are.

As long as content matter is monitored correctly for school-appropriateness, there is no well-founded objection to advertising in schools. It is the easiest solution to our impending financial crisis and will help save programs as well as buy necessary supplies. For so long the advertising world has taken advantage of the teenage market. It is now time for Florida to take advantage of the advertisers and recognize their potential for being the solution to our financial problems.

By admin

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