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Ads Join Grades On JeffCo Report Cards

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CollegeInvest ads will appear on report cards in the Jefferson County School District. (credit: CBS)

CollegeInvest ads will appear on report cards in the Jefferson County School District. (credit: CBS)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- Some parents in Jefferson County won’t only see their child’s grades on their report cards. They’ll also see advertising.

Jefferson County is trying to bridge the gap in the budget shortfall.

The school district has limited the advertising to one non-profit organization, CollegeInvest.

The ad will appear along the bottom of every elementary school report card for the next three years.

Schools in Jefferson County already have advertising on buses and stadiums, but the report card ads are getting mixed reviews.

“This is new and different and we do understand people have varying opinions. My phone has been ringing and I have been answering questions,” said Jefferson County School District Chief Financial Officer Lorie Gillis.

Gillis sent home a letter to parents explaining the move. The school district is facing $70 million in cuts. The non-profit CollegeInvest will pay $30,000 a year for the ad space.

“Kind of a little surprised, but we need the revenue,” said PTA President Keri Lee.

Lee said she feels better knowing the ad is from an entity that helps parents save for college.

When asked if she could envision the day when there are ads in the hallways and classrooms, Lee replied, “Honestly, I can see it.”

“We have to get creative about how we can get some more public school funding,” said parent Kelly Johnson.

Johnson believes creativity should be tempered with caution. In Seminole County, Florida, McDonald’s advertises on school report cards.

“Where is the line? Where do we say, ‘Nope, that’s not appropriate?'” said Johnson.

“I would say the most important filter is what aligns with our mission and what works with our students,” said Gillis.

The ad revenue will be placed into the school district’s general fund.

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