Education Funding Opinion

How Do We Finance the Deficit?

By AAEE — January 12, 2009 1 min read

We Can Invest In Sports Facilities Why Not Education?

As a follow up to my first article I would like to again emphasize the fact that there are massive budget cuts occurring throughout the country in many areas including education. So where do we cut and how do we find resources to help finance our education budgets? These are questions that school districts are asking themselves. School districts can partner with their PTA and attempt major fund raising events and/or they can get creative in their thinking and rent out space to complimentary services/organizations when their school buildings are not being used. They can go into the business marketplace and find corporate sponsors for their major events such as sports, concerts, plays and food concessions.

The middle school and high school bands can develop sponsors like the Rose Bowl sponsored by CITI. This only generates ten million dollars a year. Boy would that be a windfall of cash and solve all the budget deficits. Why not? Across the country, local communities are luring major and minor league sports teams (baseball and hockey) by giving them tax relief and/or passing new tax bills to sponsor and support them. Great idea, why don’t we get sponsors for each of the classrooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums, athletic fields and projects? All of these may produce enough revenue to keep our education system the best it can be.

Benito middle school in Tampa, FL found a cash windfall. They signed a lease contract with cell phone towers. “This year, Hillsborough schools could rake in more than $230,000 from the leases on towers”. Initial leases are for 10 years and the lease payments rise 3 to 4 percent per year.

Other areas of government budget cuts can be offset by increasing penalties and/or fines such as the price of running a red light or speeding. How do we deal with this in education? Colleges/Universities can raise tuition and implement transaction fees.

If we scratch our head what creative methods can school districts use to increase their revenue?

Neil Shnider, MBA, CPA
Executive Director. AAEE

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