A year ago, Jim Bozzini came before the Boyertown (Penn.) School Board as a parent and taxpayer to suggest a new way for the cash-strapped district to raise money: advertisements.
Now the board is turning to Bozzini, president of School Media Marketing, Gilbertsville, to deliver on his suggestion and solicit advertisements for the district.
The board has approved a three-year contract with Bozzini, the lone bidder, that will give School Media Marketing a 20 percent commission on advertising proceeds.
Officials have estimated $25,000 in first-year profits for the district and say, based on the experience of other districts, that the number could grow to six figures in future years.
While precipitated by the need to recoup expenses tied to a planned website upgrade, the hiring of a marketing firm is an increasingly typical response for school districts that need to generate revenue in the face of funding cuts.
Dr. Karen M. Beerer, assistant superintendent, said generating advertising revenue was discussed last year, even before the district made plans to upgrade its website.
"Having to generate revenue is not something schools have traditionally thought about," she said. "Our primary mission is to educate students.
"But budgets are getting more difficult, and we're having to get creative."