School districts in New York have the potential to bring in some extra income through sponsorships and advertising on school property, but the state Legislature needs to clarify the rules to allow it to happen more easily.

A report released Tuesday by the Empire Center for Public Policy points out that school districts and municipalities have shied away from pursuing advertising income because interpretations of the state constitution by the Attorney General’s Office, the Education Department and the Board of Regents have historically agreed that such deals are prohibited.

But the legality is so murky, Empire Center said, that sponsorship agreements “are largely absent in New York not because they’ve been banned, but because they haven’t been explicitly authorized.

We would like to see school districts have the option of exploring new revenue streams because it might help protect extracurricular activities like sports and music that are sometimes the first programs to face cuts during difficult budget times. On the other hand, the state needs to be careful not to open the floodgates and inadvertently pave the way for alcohol and tobacco ads in schools.

To that end, the Legislature can — and should — pass legislation specifically allowing things like naming rights for athletic facilities and advertising select products and services on school buses. At that point, it would be up to individual school districts to accept or reject proposals as they see fit.

The Empire Center suggests that school boards would want to come up with a list of ground rules to specify particular properties that could display ads; define the types of businesses that would be allowed to participate; develop a pricing structure; establish a process for considering proposals; and set conditions for contract expiration.

We understand that rural school districts aren’t going to sign million-dollar deals for the naming rights of their football stadiums. But sponsorships worth tens of thousands of dollars can be very helpful to districts trying to stretch every dollar on behalf of their students.

© 2019 Auburn Citizen

You may also like

NY Health Department Asserts Cuomo Order ‘Could Not Be the Driver’ of Nursing-Home Deaths in the State

Zachary Evans The New York State Department of Health has concluded that an executive order requiring nursing homes to readmit coronavirus patients, issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo, was not the driving factor behind coronavirus deaths in the s Read More

EDITORIAL: Nursing home report requires a second opinion

It’s great that the Cuomo administration and its Health Department issued a report this week detailing the causes of nursing home deaths at the height of the state’s coronavirus outbreak. And it’s great that the department Read More

What we know (and don’t know) about NY COVID-19 nursing home deaths after DOH report

David Robinson The state Department of Health's own analysis of COVID-19 nursing home deaths has renewed politically the charged debate over how and why coronavirus ravaged the most vulnerable New Yorkers. Read More

Faced with $10B deficit, MTA says it’s eyeing cutting overtime spending

Alfonso Castillo The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is adding urgency to the agency’s efforts to curtail overtime numbers that critics say remain alarmingly high. The MTA said at Wed Read More

City and state officials contend with a dire future as New York reopens

Brian Pascus As New York begins to reopen from the Covid-19 lockdown, Read More

Pandemic, recession don’t bring down school budgets

Stephen T. Watson This year's school elections were delayed and then shifted entirely to voting by mail thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, which also shut down schools here and across the country. District officials worried this new method of Read More

Here’s Cuomo’s Plan for Reopening New York

Jesse McKinley ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday presented a soft blueprint for how New York State’s economy might begi Read More

States with few virus cases get big share of relief aid

Geoff Mulvihill Alaska, Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming are not epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet these four states scored big this spri Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.