In Broward County, Fla., the website for Coral Springs High School has an advertisement for a movie theater complex. The website for Fort Lauderdale High School carries an ad for a local dance studio.
In Orange County, Fla., they’ve been making money from online advertising on school district websites for more than three years.
And in Prince William County in Virginia, school district officials raked in $30,000 in one month for an online CVS ad about flu shots on its main web page.
Now, the Hillsborough County School District in Florida is interested in seeing what kind of money it could make from allowing advertising on its website. There were nearly 3 million page views last month on the district’s main page.
The school board is expected to discuss the matter at a workshop March 5.
“The trend for school districts to take on advertising to help with revenues is not new,” said Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators. “We are seeing more of it as districts are strapped for cash.”
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Like other districts across the state and country, Hillsborough has been struggling with reduced school funding. So it’s looking for creative ways to help fill its coffers.
While the idea has worked well in other areas, some school board members aren’t sure it’s the right thing for Hillsborough.
“I’m from the old school on that,” said board member Carol Kurdell. “I’d rather not do it.”
She added: “I know some school districts do it to raise money. But you have to be very careful with that. It gets a little touchy.”
(Next page: Projected revenues from advertising on school websites)