Manatee County schools consider selling naming rights to career academies
With Florida's budget still sinking, school districts across the state are looking for ways to keep programs afloat.
A couple weeks ago, Orange schools floated the idea of selling ads within their walls. Today, the Herald-Tribune reports about Manatee's proposal to let corporations sponsor the district's career academies.
For $25,000 in cash or donations, a company could have its name attached to the academies. They would get logos and links on the program's marketing materials. They might even get input into the curriculum.
Officials say it would be like an amped up business partnership, similar to what St. John's County schools do. "It would have to be something appropriate that adds credibility to the academy," career education director Doug Wagner told the Herald-Tribune.
The critics already are sharpening their attacks, saying it's just another way for businesses to capitalize upon a captive audience.
But those businesses are the ones that might be hiring these students once they complete their programs. And if they don't support the academies, perhaps students will have to pay to get through them. Schools can't run programs on desire alone, after all.
It's a continuing conundrum for the schools. We heard it about exclusive soda contracts in schools, about Bus Radio and Channel One. Anyone have a good answer out there?