Manatee schools to consider corporate sponsorships

BRADENTON - Google, Nike, Lowe's and other national-level corporations may soon be popping up on public school ballfields, brochures and websites throughout Manatee County.

The school board informally decided at a workshop today to explore a program that promises to raise public school revenue by matching schools with corporations seeking to advertise through them. The program, which would be administrated by a private corporation called Education Funding Partners, could raise up to $20 per student.

Some board members said the district was obligated to explore the program given four years of budget cuts, while others raised concerns about local companies already supporting school districts being displaced by national corporations.