Parkland School Board Member Rails Against Sports Ads

Rob Cohen, who chairs the board's Education and Athletics Committee, doesn't think it's a good idea for the district to display ads at school sporting events.

Rob Cohen, chairman of Parkland School Board's Education and Athletics Committee, doesn't think  is a good idea for the district.

's Education and Athletic Committee has been discussing plans to sell advertising signage at its home football, basketball and baseball facilities and the subject came up again at Tuesday morning's committee meeting, where Cohen spoke his mind.

"We're not in the business of getting money that way," he said. "We get money through grant money and taxes. We're a public institution, and we're heading down a slippery slope."

Cohen said he thought Parkland was a district held to higher standards, even though many other districts, including Salisbury, Bethlehem and many universities, use this tactic to raise funds.

The plan may turn out as controversial as the one earlier this year that allowed

said district policy allows for up to $1,000 per advertiser per year.

The district has been in talks with local Allstate Insurance Co. agencies about putting advertising signage up on the school's football field, basketball court and baseball field, as well as in its printed programs.

District spokeswoman Nicole McGalla said Allstate's offer was for $3,000 per year and included three banner ads, public address announcements and magnets during football, baseball and basketball seasons.

"I don't think its cost-effective," Cohen said. "I'm against it, and I'll say so in the big room. I think this should be brought up before all the committees.

Sniscak said there is no need for an immediate timetable on the issue.

parkland grad September 12, 2012 at 01:16 PM
3000 doesn't seem like enough cash, compared to the football program ad costs, allstate would be getting a bargain over multiple sports, add a zero and maybe it would be worth it
Timothy O'Brien September 12, 2012 at 02:39 PM
John: they apparently do need to sell advertising in order to cover budgetary shortfalls when 75-76% of that $139M budget goes BA k out the door in the form if salaries, pension contributions and benefits to teachers and school district staff...and that's just based upon the budgetary estimates that the district ITSELF published back last February / March for a school boars meeting I attended, so this is from first hand knowledge. Don't let PSD close the doors now that schools in session for another 8 months and pull the wool over your eyes...very little of our tax dollars reach the classrooms
Bernardo September 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Well said. Education is the priority after all........isn't it?
John September 16, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Tim, thank you for making my point. PSD "budget" of $139 million is a demonstration of extremely poor financial appropriation. If this were a business, they would be making hard decisions. This flaccid threat of cutting student programming is ridiculous, while this school board has provided cafeteria workers 20% salary increases over the past 4 years. So this year teachers are having salaries frozen, and administrators did that last year. Two points here.....maxing out of salary, and watch what happens during the "payback period", when both will cry poverty due to the sacrifice they gave that single year. What is the maximum salary of a high school teacher? Every position in the private sector today is seeing this, where salary and true value is being addressed. Last I checked there were thousands of graduates from Pa schools graduating with teaching degrees, yet remain unemployed. Experience doesn't necessarily mean increased quality, and with tenure, it often times means early retirement while you work! School board...see "supply and demand ratio"...business 101! Next, I have yet to hear the expected increases in administrative salaries.... Sports and arts should not be pimped out so the geniuses who can control the budget can spend more AND never say "no".
John September 16, 2012 at 01:45 PM
PG ----watch those supporters who cover the programs with ads pull out when their bid to hang their billboard is rejected because the uncle, cousin or sister-in-law's business was given the nod over others. There are businesses who have financially supported PHS athletics for years....considerably more than a dozen. By limiting any of them from hanging their shingle, my guess is they would re-deploy their marketing dollars elsewhere. I would also make the jump that once this were allowed, and the income that is derived from such a decision, there would become a sudden override as to the numbers of billboards allowed, creating another Coca Cola Park scenario. And will any of this revenue go to FINALLY turfing a single field in the District? DOUBT THAT! Yet another embarrassment when schools like Liberty, Whitehall, Saucon, Nazareth, Emmaus, just to name a few have at least a single turf field, while Parkland plays on cow pastures, dandelions and weeds - will NEVER host a district, regional or state event....how did those districts facilitate this? This idea is yet another telling sign that administration and School Board is incompetent in running a school district...one of the most expensive school districts in the area. Eventually those parent's businesses supporting individual teams their children will realize the ROI on such an investment is ZERO, and will cease from supporting these as well. Parent booster clubs will remain the support of teams.


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