LA schools accept corporate sponsors

Dec. 15, 2010 at 6:21 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Some Los Angeles city schools could turn to corporate sponsorship as a means to generate income, the city's school board says.

The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education Tuesday gave Superintendent Ramon Cortines the go-ahead to allow revenue-generating corporate sponsorships for all-but-extinct extracurricular programs such as athletics, arts and music, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported Wednesday.

The policy gives the superintendent authority to sign tentative agreements with sponsors wishing to give up to $500,000, with those agreements then going before the full board for ratification.

Any potential partnerships valued at $500,000 or greater must go before the board before being signed.

The policy says corporate donors would be able to establish a corporate brand identity through signs but not engage in product promotion or sales. They would be allowed limited signage and other marketing or corporate branding at athletic facilities, or at music festivals or sports tournaments, the Journal reported.

The new policy includes a ban on support from alcohol and tobacco companies, fast-food companies, high-calorie products and high-sugar foods.

"Let me tell you, this is all advertising," Cortines said. "We're not going to put advertising where it offends."

"I'm uncomfortable with this," said board member Steve Zimmer, who explained to the Los Angeles Times he cast his vote supporting sponsorships in the wake of state budget cuts because "the public is not funding public education in California."

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