WASHINGTON — Faced with stinging budget cuts, a county school board in the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado is selling advertising space on report cards to help make ends meet.
Jefferson County Public Schools expects to make $90,000 over three years from Collegeinvest, a college savings plan, for the two-inch (five-centimeter) ads on report cards issued by its 91 elementary schools.
That seems like a drop in the bucket for the school board, which last year slashed its spending by $40 million in the face of reduced state and federal government support and a slump in revenue from school property taxes.
But school board spokeswoman Melissa Reeves told AFP by telephone on Monday: "We're obviously looking for revenue generators and taking them where we can find them."
Headlined "Savings tip: Time is on your side," the ads invite parents to sock away money for their youngsters' university tuition through Collegeinvest, which is run by the Colorado state education department.
"I really view it as a public service announcement because we're a non-profit and it's helping families that obviously have children," Angela Baier, chief of marketing at Collegeinvest, told Denver TV station KUSA.
With 86,000 students from kindergarten to senior high school, the Jefferson County School Board -- based in Golden city, the home of the famous Coors brewery -- already sells advertising space on its buses to a local bank.
Reeves said it anticipates making another $70 million in spending cuts in the coming years, as the United States as a whole struggles to put economic hard times behind it.