North Providence schools could sell naming rights - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

North Providence schools could sell naming rights

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Nicole Gerber

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Imagine dropping your kids off to soccer practice at the CVS athletic field. Or giving them money to spend on school lunch at Hasbro cafeteria.

It could happen to schools in North Providence.

It would all be to make money for the schools. - the school committee wants to sell naming rights to bolster the budget. But not everyone is on board.

The North Providence school budget isn't in the red, but that's not stopping the school committee from wanting to boost the funds.

"We keep raising our budget and it just goes back to the taxpayer, we need 50 cents more on the thousand, we need 75 cents more, school department needs this... so I'm just trying to get ways of getting money in," said committee clerk Stephen Palmieri.

His latest idea is selling naming rights for classrooms, cafeterias, athletic fields, and other parts of North Providence schools.

He predicts it could bring in more than a million dollars a year depending on the deal struck with the sponsor.

"If someone were going to spend $20 thousand you could spread it out over 20 years and that's a thousand dollars a year of good advertisement," he said.

Some people we spoke to are concerned about where to draw the line. Let's say for example a fast food chain wanted to sponsor a kid's cafeteria.

"I would rather see something healthier to be honest with you... instead of encouraging them towards sodas or McDonalds," said Pauline Carabitses, who has a son in school in North Providence.

"Everything would have to be morally right and it would have to pass through the committee as to exactly what persons or peoples names are going to go on things because it is a school with children," said Palmieri.

While many can see the benefits of extra school funding...some aren't convinced there's a place for corporate sponsorship in the classroom.

"There's other ways to get it through the councils of the towns in Providence, they usually get money when they need it anyway...  so I think they should keep them," said Ed Duggan of Providence.

The naming rights proposal is on the North Providence town council agenda tonight, but members of the school committee say most town officials they've spoken to, already support the idea.

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