FISD revises ad policy

In News by Reporter News

Friendswood ISD officials say the district’s new advertising policy will create more structure within an increasingly popular method to raise money for schools.

Looking to replace funds lost through state budget cuts after 2011, school districts all over the state have turned to advertising on book covers, buses and scoreboards to create additional revenue.

FISD Trustees in March approved the purchased of a video scoreboard, an investment that eventually turn a profit for the district. The $459,000 video board is expected to pay for itself over the next 5 years through advertisements on four panel spots as well as two spaces that will rotate video ads. After the initial investment is returned, all advertising revenue will be revenue for the district.

Friendswood ISD has been using advertising to bring in revenue for about 5 years, while neighboring Pearland ISD began even earlier, launching a school bus advertising program in 2009. While advertising on school property is not unusual, administrators must keep careful watch over content. The FISD board in a special meeting April 29 reviewed ad policies and approved a new revised version.

According to Thad Roher, deputy superintendent for FISD, the district’s old policy allowed advertising, but did not have as much “structure” as the new version.

“The new policy gives parameters to the purpose of advertising which in turn determines who can advertise,” Roher stated. “The new policy also gives structure to the selection of what will be allowed on the actual advertising spaces.”

Among the policy’s long list of restrictions are obvious banned material such as political ads, those advertising tobacco or alcohol, and those with false or unwarranted claims, disparagement of a competitor, lotteries or questionable “contests.” Also banned are ads containing ambiguous misleading statements, testimonials that can’t be authenticated, and vulgar or sexual material.

Future regular meetings of the Board are May 11 and June 15. Meetings are held beginning at 5:45 p.m. in the FISD Administration Building, 302 Laurel Dr. Agendas can be viewed before each meeting at www.boarddocs.com.

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