Local News

Wake Schools Look At Commercial Ways To Improve Revenue

Posted October 24, 2003

— Schools say they never have enough money to get what they need, but that could change under a new proposal to go commercial.

"This is a mini-business here. [We] have to have money to provide for our kids," said Bob Catapano, athletic director at Sanderson High School.

The Wake County school board is trying to think of new ways to make more money. Tom Oxholm's finance committee came up with a list of new ideas such as naming rights for buildings and fields and exclusive contracts for equipment and uniforms.

For instance, Pepsi has a contract with Wake County schools that has generated millions of dollars. Booster clubs and PTAs also seek out sponsorships.

Principals like Andre Smith, principal at Wake Forest/Rolesville High School, who was asked to review the ideas, said the potential competition to the parent groups makes him hesitate.

"The way that we operate and do business here is dependent on good, positive strong relationships," he said.

"Let's be honest. It takes money to run our program and people want to keep up with the Joneses. We're always looking for new sources of revenue," Catapano said.

Some principals that studied the ideas are concerned that it may hurt local businesses that they already deal with. They are also concerned that it may affect parents' involvement with groups.

The ideas will be discussed at a school board meeting on Nov. 5. If the recommendations are approved, they will go before the school district for further study.

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