In this time of recession, public schools are in big trouble. Faced with plummeting revenues,state legislatures are being forced to cut school funding all over the place. Here in Colorado,legislators are trying to find ways around Amendment 23, a measure passed by voters in 2000that requires public school funding to be increased by inflation plus one percent each year for 10years. All over the country, schools are on the chopping block.But who's that coming to help? No, it's not Uncle Sam, but your other uncle, the rich one. That'sright, the Coca-Cola Corporation. Or, depending on what district you're in, Pepsi-Cola, or perhaps some other large corporation. That's right, to show its goodwill and belief in goodeducation, corporate America wants to help out your local elementary school. All it asks inexchange is the right to paste its logo on every possible surface and sell you textbooks askingyoung math students to count in M&M's or measure the circumference of Oreos.Well, praise be unto Cola! This is exactly what we need! The school gets the new computers itneeds, while the sponsor gets the right to tell students to only drink Coke products and gets anice tax write-off in the process. For a corporation, sponsoring a school is a brilliant marketingmove; they get immediate access to that all-important young demographic, and $250,000--a hugesum for a school district--is pocket change for a coorperation in relation to typical advertising budgets.The corporate whoring of America's schools has been happening for several years now, and it issteadily growing. Some would make the argument that kids are already bombarded withadvertising from every other direction, so one more logo shouldn't hurt. However, schools arewhere we are supposed to teach people how to be critical and independent thinkers, and if a childgrows up in a school environment that tells them that only Pepsi paves the road to a hip lifestyle,how can that mission not be compromised?But when it comes down to a choice between raising taxes and making sure schools are alwaysadequately funded or selling our schools to manufacturers of brightly packaged addictive sugar water, America says, "Drink more Coke."
Coca Cola targets to be water neutral by 2012