By Alan Sorensen
At its regular July meeting Tuesday, the Havre Public School Board of Trustees unanimously approved a district advertising policy.
The policy will govern all marketing activities, including but not limited to advertising, corporate sponsorship, and signage, as a board-approved means of revenue enhancement.
The policy includes numerous, clearly explained revenue spending guidelines, appropriate advertising opportunities, and restrictions on types of advertising permitted by the district.
Revenue derived from advertising should:
n Enhance student achievement;
n Assist in maintaining existing district activities and athletics programs;
n Provide scholarships for students participating in athletics, academic, and activity programs who demonstrate financial need and merit;
n Replace or reduce K-5 door-to-door sales solicitation and other fund-raising activities as determined.
Appropriate opportunities for marketing activities include:
- Fixed signage;
- District level publications;
- Television or radio broadcasts (restricted to certain types), and computer web pages;
- Facilities to include stadiums, gyms, track complexes, foyers, auditoriums (restricted to certain types), lunch rooms (restricted to certain types), outside billboards. Other signage could occur at the boards discretion.
Advertising in classrooms and corporate-sponsored curriculum materials are subject to the requirements of board policy. The following restrictions will be in place when seeking revenue enhancement. Revenue enhancement activities will not:
- Promote hostility, disorder, or violence;
- Attack ethnic, racial, or religious groups;
- Discriminate, demean, harass, or ridicule any person or group of people on the basis of gender;
- Be libelous;
- Inhibit the functioning of the school or district;
- Promote, favor, or oppose the candidacy of any candidate for election, adoption of any bond/budget issues or any public question submitted at any general, county, municipal, or school election;
- Be obscene or pornographic as defined by prevailing community standards throughout the district;
- Promote the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, gambling, gaming, lotteries, or certain products that create community concerns;
- Promote any religious, anti-government, or political organization;
- Use of any district or school logo without prior approval;
- Do other things as the board may deem unfit.
All agreements with monetary values of $15,000 or more, a length of time longer than five years, or an exclusive agreement for district-wide sponsorship shall require approval by the board. All other agreements will have to be approved by the superintendent or his designee.
The policy also involves guidelines for advertising rates, sales methods, profit distribution, billing, review process, and installation, repair and maintenance.
A percentage of all advertising revenues will be withheld and placed in a district-wide fund used to meet the four goals established in the policy. The percentage of withholding would be established according to the percentage of district students benefiting directly from the marketing effort.
Projects designed for district-wide enhancement would have the smallest withholding and those serving the fewest students would have the highest percentage withheld.
Examples of withholdings for district-wide use as provided by Superintendent Kirk Miller were: 10 percent for groups building new bleachers, 30 percent for groups buying weight equipment for the high school; 50 percent for groups buying high school tackling dummies, and 80 percent for groups putting on camps, field trips, etc.
The policy went into effect immediately upon passage.
The board also voted unanimously to reschedule its August meeting. The meeting will be held at 12:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9 at Robins School. The change from Tuesday was required by Montana law that requires school boards to hold their final budget meetings the second Monday in August.
Miller said the budget meeting should last about 40 minutes and is open to the public.