Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Urban schools use marketing to woo residents back

Interesting article from Richmond Channel 8 News. As anyone knows, no city can bring back it's middle class without significantly improving it's public inner-city schools. The article quotes:

The $50,000 campaign by a school system still trying to rebound from a long history of racial segregation and white flight is an example of efforts under way in several cities to retain students. School districts are highlighting improvements to halt declining head counts so they can retain their funding, especially in light of drastic state budget cuts.

"People are still stuck with perceptions of yesteryear, and are not really aware of what we have to offer today," Richmond Superintendent Yvonne Brandon said. "It's not perfect, but be a part of the solution and become invested now."

Unfortunately for some cities, the need for more students seems to be a numbers game to keep funding for an already under funded system.

Detroit's fiscally troubled system has lost more than 45 percent of its students over the last decade, leading to scores of school closures. The district this month launched a $500,000 "I'm In" campaign to keep students in the district, enlisting the help of ex-NBA player Derrick Coleman and comedian Bill Cosby and donations from private companies - including pro-bono work from advertising and public-relations agencies, spokesman Steven Wasko said.

The school system gets about $7,560 in state funds for each enrolled student. Its enrollment target is 83,777, and "any student above that translates into more funding," Wasko said.

What are your thoughts? To read the full article, click here.

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