To Balance Budgets, Pennsylvania District Allows Ads

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Without ever cracking a book, students in Bucks County's Pennsbury School District are learning a new subject this year: marketing.

Starting three weeks ago, the 16 elementary, middle, and high schools are being adorned with - some say defiled by - advertisements as large as 5 by 10 feet. By month's end, 47 should be in place. Ultimately, 218 are to appear on walls and floors, and shrink-wrapped over lockers, locker-room benches, even cafeteria tables.

In what administrators say is a first in the Philadelphia area and probably the state, the Pennsbury school board signed a contract with a national advertising agency that could boost the district's battered budget by as much as $424,000, while giving the firm's clients access to the habitat of 10,950 children, tweens, and teens.

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