Last week, the 76,300-student Anne Arundel County schools in Maryland announced its decision to work with Education Funding Partners, a relatively new Golden, Colo.-based company working to bring advertising revenue to cash-strapped school districts. Though advertising in schools is hardly a recent phenomenon- think sports boosters with ads on the sides of high school baseball stadiums- Education Funding Partners is among the first companies to focus on facilitating contracts between school districts and companies.
Two interesting facts to note about Educating Funding Partners: the company does not have a startup fee (instead it works on commission made from sponsorship and corporate sales,) and it does not use in-class advertisements.
Some school leaders aren’t quite sure what to make of it. Mary Glass, executive director of the Manatee Education Foundation in Manatee County, Fla., said her district is considering a deal with EFP, but it is hesitant to enter one since no other Florida school district of comparable size has used the company. “We’ve adopted a wait and see approach… we want to see how other schools are doing it first” said Glass.
The 79,000-student Prince William County schools in Virginia used EFP to establish a partnership with CVS Caremark that included Web and email advertisements through the district Web site. The Nashville, Tenn., schools solicited the company to help fund the district’s athletics programs with stadium ads. In addition, the 53,000-student Winston-Salem/Forsyth School District in North Carolina is in the process of negotiating and drawing up a contract with Educating Funding Partners, which may be approved in the next few months.