Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DeKalb County Schools - Should School Budgets Be Spent On PR?

School Budget In DeKalb County Spent On A PR Firm?

The proper use of school funds for DeKalb County Schools is the question facing officials in DeKalb County, Georgia. The DeKalb County Schools are cutting $ 115 million out of their yearly budget. At the same time, the school district seems to have money to lend – at least, to a PR firm they are hoping to hire. What's the story behind this DeKalb County Schools move?

Cutting budgets at DeKalb County Schools

Next Monday, DeKalb County Schools are poised to take on the very-difficult issue of spending budget cuts. Like most school districts around the country, DeKalb County Schools are faced with shrinking budgets and increasing costs. Parents have raised concerns about the potential of closing schools, and also the district could be cutting up to 430 jobs.

DeKalb County Schools buying for a PR Firm?

It is no surprise that the DeKalb County Schools district feels that they have a PR problem – spending budget cuts and pending lawsuits and a lot more. It's not surprise that DeKalb County Schools feel they need help, given all these issues. According to the website for DeKalb County Schools, the PR firm would be responsible for "creation of good will" and "crisis response management".

What this will cost DeKalb County Schools

DeKalb County Schools is now finding itself answering questions about using school funds to hire a PR Firm. The directors are saying the contract would be capped at $ 25,000 – relatively little in the world of PR budgets. The school district is not preparing on cutting any line items to pay for the PR firm contract, however they will take the money out of "communications budget".

Should DeKalb County Schools make this PR firm hire?

In the end, the question is should DeKalb County Schools be spending $ 25k on a PR firm? This question can be a really tough one to answer. The school district already employs five separate communications employees. At the very same time, the school district is self-aware enough to know they have a bad PR problem. Most schools are funded with local tax dollars. Without good public relations, a school district can find itself floundering. However, should a district spend cash on public relations when they are cutting teachers' jobs? When the job is already taken care of by five separate internal employees, should they pay an outside firm to do the same thing. What's your opinion?


Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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