LAUSD considers corporate sponsors on campus

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. The school district faces a budget deficit of $142 million, and several thousand workers have received layoff notices.

"This is our way to try to create new revenue sources and save programs that our kids and our parents expect," said Melissa Infusino of the /*Los Angeles Unified School District*/.

The money would go to programs that face cuts, such as arts and music and athletic events. Some, however, wonder if there should be advertising aimed at young people inside a school.

"I think it could get distracting having advertisements around the school. It would seem less like a place of learning," said student Caitlin Cohen.

An official said there will be restrictions on which companies could be in a school. For example, they will not allow advertising for soft drinks, cigarettes or alcohol.

"We are not doing direct advertising to kids. These are sponsors that we want to bring in to support programs that are a priority for us. The intent is not to have advertising or messaging in the classroom--that's for learning and that's instructional time," said Infusino.

School officials said they hope to raise about $10 million dollars.

"It's not something that is unusual. It's something that isn't unique to public institutions. You've got museums, theaters and institutions like that that look to corporate sponsors as well," said Infusino.

Some students said they don't mind if it will help schools.

"It can be distracting. There's going to be ads all over the place, but I think it's a good idea, because right now we are very broke and we need the money," said student Justin Hopgood.

"I appreciate it, I really do. I like the fact that they're trying to help the schools, and it's a good system," said another student, Bengie Aguirre.

The board is scheduled to vote on the plan on Tuesday.

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