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Cash-strapped school puts advertising on letters sent home to parents

9:00 AM, Oct 1, 2010   |    comments
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NBC -- The cash-strapped school district in Peabody, Massachusetts is giving their money troubles the slip.

The school committee agreed to sell advertising that will appear on notices sent home to parents.

"It's a unique way to try to not pass on additional fees," said C. Milton Burnett of Peabody Public Schools.

"I think it's a great way to bring money into the school system and also support our Peabody businesses," said Tara Holleran, a parent.

The district's 3,000 elementary school students go home with 10,000 notices per year, which adds up to potentially an extra $15,000 to $24,000 in revenue.

"$15,000 is, in one respect, a modest sum of money compared to the total budget, but it's a start," said Burnett.

In a year when many school fees tripled, it's welcome news to a lot of parents.

"It's better than having the children do another fundraiser and try to get them to raise the money," said Holleran.

The only concern is that given how young some of the children are, officials may need to make limitations on who is allowed to buy the ad space.

"I definitely think there should be ground rules. I don't believe that it should be like tattoo parlors," said Kira Adams, a parent.

"We wanna keep this family-based, and I think as long as they keep the advertising family-based, then we'll be on target," said Leanne Delillo, a parent.

The superintendent said that parents do not need to worry and that the ads will be family-appropriate, which means no ads containing tobacco, alcohol, or political causes.

NBC

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