Schools to sell ads on permission slips

Ads for local businesses will appear on permission slips, class calendars and school notices sent home with elementary students in Peabody, Massachusetts, reports the Boston Globe. Ads for cigarettes and liquor will be banned.

The ads, possibly the first of their kind in Massachusetts, “will have to be age-appropriate, but we’re thinking about ads from local pizza and ice cream shops, dance and karate schools, maybe from a florist or a college,’’ said Superintendent C. Milton Burnett.

Peabody schools laid off six teachers, two guidance counselors and other staff this year. Fees for riding the bus and playing sports were raised.

The elementary-only program will earn no more than $24,000, not much of a boost for a $62 million budget. Middle and high schools may be added later, but this doesn’t sound like a huge money-maker.

Some Massachusetts districts sell ads on school buses, the Globe reports.

My father knew a man who earned money during the Depression by selling ads on report cards. The school district saved money by getting its report cards for free; the young entrepreneur used the ad revenues to pay for college.

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  1. Sounds like a win-win. The usual suspects will, of course, complain about the advertising. They seem to be under the impression that we can have first world standard of living without businesses being allowed to tell people that they exist. Is ubiquitous advertising annoying – in many cases, yes. I wouldn’t want to have the power, however, to eliminate everything which annoys me.

    The idea of people being unable to resist advertising is one I dismiss on its face. I’m of the opinion that if any person is so weak-willed that they are unable to resist advertising, then they are not a rational human being, capable of taking care of themselves, and therefore need to be cared for in an institution.


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