Origins of CCCS
On November 6, 1996, the Seattle School Board passed (5-2) the 'Advertising and Corporate Sponsorship Policy', which would actively solicit corporate advertising and sponsorship in the public schools. The Seattle School District faced a $35 million budget shortfall over the next three years, and the school board hoped to generate 10 percent of the funds they needed with this policy. The decision to allow more commercial presence in schools was made in a void of public input. As a result of the disregard for public process, two public forums were held in December, 1996 and January, 1997, which were attended by parents, students, teachers and citizens outraged at the new policy. The outcome of these forums led to the formation of the Citizens' Campaign for Commercial-Free Schools.
In response to the strong public outcry against their earlier vote, the school board, on March 19, 1997, voted (5-1) to rescind the policy. Superintendent Stanford was directed by the board to form a committee of community members to make recommendations for a new district policy. The Committee on Advertising and Commercial Activites met for nearly a year and submitted a
report to the Superintendent in September, 1998. Despite some
serious reservations about proceedings of the committee (questions about composition of the group, selection processs, lack of research and open discussion, and manipulation of the agenda by business interests and district personnel), the CCCS decided to endorse the recommendations, on the basis that they at least represented an improvement. However, the Seattle School Board did not act upon this report.
In response to the School Board's inaction, CCCS stepped up to the task by further refining the policy recommendations and producing a Recommended Policy on Advertising and Commercial Activity in the Seattle Public Schools, which we presented to the Board at their Sept. 6, 2000 meeting.
Finally, on November 21, 2001, after five years of hard work by CCCS and our allies in the community, the Seattle School Board approved (by a vote of 6-1) a policy " to significantly restrict commercial advertising on or within district-operated property."
CCCS now has the tasks of making sure that the Seattle District follows this policy, and helping other communities in Washington state in their efforts to keep commercialism out of their schools.
A Brief History of CCCS activities.
A Brief History of Commercialism in Seattle Public Schools.
CCCS Officers for 2003