Lynchburg City Schools Launch Ad Campaign

Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg City Schools is spending thousands of dollars, not on books or hiring teachers, but on advertisements.

The money for the ads was already included in the Lynchburg City Schools budget.

The school system's budget does looks better this year, but just last year, the schools faced a $8 million deficit.

In 2009, the schools cut more than 60 jobs, including about 20 teaching positions.

A new chapter is being written for Lynchburg City Schools in print ads, television commercials, and even on billboards all over the city.

"Years ago maybe it was default, everybody went to the local neighborhood public school. But today there are more choices. I think we have to go out and compete in the marketplace," Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand said.

Brabrand explained why a public school system, with a what one might consider a built in customer base, even needs to advertise.

"Every child that doesn't come to Lynchburg City Schools, we don't get state support for that student." We get less money from the state if our enrollment goes down," Brabrand said.

The money for the ads is coming out of the school system's advertising and communications budget, which has been cut by about $32,000 over the last five years.

This year's budget was the first in the last five years to include employee pay raises.

To date, the school system has been billed more than $11,000 for the My LCS Story ads.

"We're better leveraging our public information dollars in a better way. A sharper message. A clearer message," Brabrand said.

ABC 13 asked private and home school parents on Facebook if an ad campaign could make them change their minds about how their educational choices for their children.

Every parent who responded said an ad would have no impact on their decisions.