Local News

Wake School Board Discusses Corporate Contracts, Sponsorships

Posted November 6, 2003 6:26 a.m. EST

— Wake County public schools

are looking for new ways to raise money for programs. On the agenda at Wednesday's meeting was whether more corporate contracts and sponsorships are the answer.

An exclusive contract with Pepsi earns the schools thousands of dollars every year. A school board committee recently looked at expanding that idea to equipment contracts, naming rights for fields and buildings.

"The charge from the school board was for our committee of citizens and board members to explore all alternative revenue sources and determine which ones are appropriate for Wake County," school board member Tom Oxholm said.

Oxholm is on the committee that came up with a list of eight new ideas for raising money. Other ideas include selling successful school programs, leasing space to telecom companies and buying gift cards at a discount and reselling them at full price.

Of all the ideas, parents like Roger Ehrlich said the sponsorship suggestions make him the most uneasy.

"I think that it's better when you have our good local companies with strong roots in the community involved," Ehrlich said.

Ronald Jenks is part of that community effort. His booster club raises $45,000 a year in local sponsorship money for Wake Forest-Rolesville High School, and he is concerned new sponsorship ideas will affect his group.

"If we let it go to corporate, I feel like the grassroots part of it for parents and the town would be lost," he said.