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CONTACT: Public Citizen
In-School Advertising Is the Wrong Way to Raise Revenue for Lodi Schools
Letter Describes Advertising’s Harmful Effects on Developing Children
WASHINGTON - December 5 - Lodi Unified School District should not move forward with plans to sell advertising on school sites and naming rights to district assets, Public Citizen said in a letter sent today to the board of education.
Adopting this amendment would raise little revenue and undermine Lodi Unified’s educational and child development mission, the letter said. The advertisements would bring only miniscule financial benefits.
Reports indicate that Education Funding Partners (EFP), the company Lodi has partnered with for its advertising program, estimates up to $100,000 in revenues from such a program – an amount less than 0.05 percent of the district’s total expenditures budget for the 2011-2012 school year. Moreover, EFP, a private company, stands to take a 20 percent cut of the revenues generated from this potentially harmful program.
“Children already are surrounded by near-constant advertising that promotes consumerism and commercial values,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. “But the ubiquity of advertising is not a reason for allowing corporate naming rights and in-school advertising to persist; it is a reason why children need a sanctuary from a world where everything seems to be for sale.”
Added Elizabeth Ben-Ishai, campaign coordinator for Public Citizen’s Commercial Alert project, “In-school advertising and marketing schemes convey market rather than civic values and impede the ability of schools to function as open spaces where ideas are freely exchanged and the next generation of public-minded, conscientious and virtuous students can grow.”