City Government

Boise Schools To Launch Marketing Campaign

Boise Schools has taken a page directly out of the Team Dave play book by seeking an advertising agency to create a demand for their services.

The district will dedicate $175,000 for an advertising campaign in 2018-19, with an ongoing commitment for at least three years, according to documents obtained by IDAHO EDUCATION NEWS. Advertising agencies can submit proposals until Sept. 28.

School officials complain that despite an increasing population, they are losing students to the Catholics and charter schools.

Superintendent Don Coberly explained, “Everybody’s competing for kids and we said, ‘Let’s get the word out that we are the No. 1 choice.’”

The purpose is to thwart “ongoing efforts by the charter school movement, voucher supporters and pro-privatization organizations to chip away at the confidence” in traditional public schools.

Coberly cited Bluum, a nonprofit group that advocates for school choice, and its “20 in 10” goal to create 20,000 new charter school seats in Idaho in the next decade. Coberly also cited legislative discussions of voucher programs, which could divert taxpayer funds from public schools into private or parochial schools.

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Maybe this should be a wake up call for the school districts in Ada and Canyon county. What are these other schools offering that you don’t? Better education? Better teaching environment? Better teacher to student ratio? At least with the alternative schools I don’t have to keep seeing my taxes increase so you can build more schools.

  2. Brian vermillion
    Sep 21, 2018, 2:53 pm

    Oh no! We can’t possibly have competition! Children are seen as crops in the field by public school systems and get very paranoid when someone dares encroach on their gravy train. Many do not have confidence in the public school system and that is precisely why parents seek alternatives. The bureaucrat has it exactly backwards.

  3. homeschooler
    Sep 21, 2018, 3:06 pm

    I really don’t agree with our public schools using my taxpayer dollars to advertise their services.

  4. I would like to know why a public school child thinks a light bulb and a refrigerator use the same amount of electricity.

    I’d like to know why a public school child wants to save the planet but thinks mommy idling the SUV four hours each day in front of her tinder date’s house is not polluting as much as an evil light bulb. Thousands of other examples available.

    Point is schools are not educating the youth accurately or honestly. Schools are knowingly and intentionally filling children full of incorrect useless made up social crap. Children leave high school wanting an engineer’s pay but too stupid to collect the shopping carts at Wal-Mart. (Let’s not even get started with the gay recruitment agenda, born 1.5% of the population with a 10% goal.)

    This overall is in fact the communist agenda. It is alive and well in Boise schools. Stupid youth make good liberals. Liberals hate America… the only place on earth they won’t be eaten for dinner, but they are liberals so nothing makes any sense, at all, ever. In fact if you dare make sense to a liberal…. a girlfriend from forty years ago will claim you passed out on top of her at a really good party.

  5. Accounting trick
    Sep 21, 2018, 5:07 pm

    There is money in this fiscal budget that must be spent or lost. Lots of waste in this way.

  6. Shades of the ’50s. The commies have taken over the schools!! Our public schools do need to take a hard look at what the private schools offer. I know a lot of pretty intelligent adults that couldn’t tell the difference between a watt hour and a lunch hour or what a fridge vs a light bulb uses. I also know quite a few kids, from grade school through high school who a very smart. Visit a high school science class and see if you can pass the science exam. Lets be proactive and help the schools identify the problem rather than claiming our education system has been taken over by the “commies”.

    EDITOR NOTE–GEO, would you also endorse good education and teachers over a $175,000 ad campaign trying to sell the status quo?

  7. Why can’t they do it in-house? The district already employs public affairs, communications, and graphics specialists. If they don’t know how to do the job, $175,000 could buy a lot of education/training.

  8. GEO, what do you think Bernie Sanders is? He is a mainstream American commie. Who did the teachers want to elect? The Red Scare of the 1950s was based in reality and so is this problem. Comrade, if Hillary had not cheated to get the nomination Bernie would be President.

    There is a great deal of junk science being taught in the schools, in a similar fashion to the junk math and junk history. Al Gore the car salesman is considered a god like science expert. George Washington was white therefore America is bad (history). Girl points finger and boy must be incinerated (social studies). They are teaching rubbish. I know an award winning public school teacher who needed help figuring out the area of a 10 x 10 room. The bar is very low intentionally.

    Teachers are the biggest union in the country and can’t figure out how to get themselves a living wage. The public money goes up in smoke with seven layers of administration, overly expensive school buildings, and juicy contracts awarded to political friends. As someone pointed out the kids are just a cash crop for the machine. The whole mess is overseen by government swamp monsters pledging to mess stuff up so we will vote them even more money to fix it. It is sabotage.

    Government screws up everything it touches. The public schools and the VA medical system are good examples of this fact. If you want to be proactive, if you want to fix it, get the political agenda out of the schools. Best way to do so is to give parents a choice and thereby taking the money away from the public school swamp. Boeing and Airbus compete and both are better companies and better consumer experiences because of it. Can you imagine the quality of our vehicles if only one state owned company built them comrade? Our public schools are the equivalent of the Russian ZiL automobile comrade. Of course they need a large advertising budget to sell junk like that.

    EDITOR NOTE–Please stay on the topic! This is a local issue of spending. Also your comments are twice as long as the original story. The GUARDIAN is a forum for public comment, not a place to troll.

  9. People complain that teachers don’t get paid enough and our schools arn’t up to date, but the school system has $175K sitting around for commercials. Also if you go to the Idaho Press, the BSS has an ongoing commitment for at least 3 years. I put my child into one of these new charter schools. I got tired of the public school teaching kindness and other social BS. This is what happens when you try to cut in on their territory.

  10. Absurd rubbish. Where is the Governor on this? More evidence the the Government could care less about the judicious use of taxpayer money – and will extort the taxpayer to shore up its inept operations without shame. If parents opt out of public ‘education” (as we did) this a pure exercise of freedom, in a free society. The more this happens, the better, as the evidence is substantively clear that our public schools are of dubious merit.

  11. I was schooled both publicly and privately and had good teachers in both.
    I also taught in both private and public schools and helped start several “alternative” schools.

    Charter schools, which are public, should be great learning labs for the “traditional” public schools, which need all the pedagogical competition they can get. The key is a culture of curiosity fostered by caring parents and great teachers not burdened with too much “administration.”

  12. To Editor:
    I certainly do not appreciate the school board authorizing $175,000 for advertising. There certainly are better uses for this money rather than enriching local media outlets.

    We are talking about the future of our children here and they should have the best education our school system can deliver. So yes, I support a quality public school education and an educated well paid and skilled teaching staff. This can only happen with adequate funding from the state (which is not happening) and public support.

    I believe the public school system is missing a great opportunity by not outreaching to the professional retired community to assist in teaching. They can bring real life experience in business, science, math and other subjects. We certainly have a lot of retired professionals in area.

    As a retired geologist I would be honored to assist in teaching an earth science class under the guidance of an experienced teacher. Not only would the science students gain real knowledge in the practical applications of science but also the teachers who for the most part only repeat what they learned at the university or college. Certainly a better use of $175,000.

  13. Why not let them spend $175,000 to share their point of view on education. Over time, the results with their education product will be evident.
    The greatest thing to improve educational results is to expand the in-class days from 182 to 247 days. That is 52 weeks of education less 2 weeks of vacation and 9 holidays. Sure, the cost to “underpaid” teachers goes up but it will no longer be a part-time job of 182 days over 9 months. Everyone else (full time) works 50 weeks a year less 9 holidays; why not teachers? It has been proven that without the summer break, students retain their learning better. We are not living in an agricultural economy where the youth work the family farm yielding a nine month education system. Be innovative, bump the budget and let the whiners get paid but be accountable. Now watch the hate follow this.

  14. Dave Kangas
    Sep 23, 2018, 9:21 am

    So the school district has declining attendance? That should mean no more bonds or extra levies in the future correct? While $175,000 is small in their overall budget it is not money wisely spent. As evidenced by comments here, it will be a publicity nightmare. I am pretty sure that money would be beeter served with an additional teacher or counselor.

  15. It sounds like the advertising campaign monies will be directed towards the Idaho legislatures? Not parents or Property owners? Isn’t Boise school district just increasing their lobbying monies? It seems if Boise school district was providing the best education they wouldn’t be in this quandary. God knows property owners continue to pay for new bond after new bond to ALLOW for the BEST?!

  16. More of “Us vs Them”.

    Religious and Political
    It’s tough for religious zealots to send their kids to Sunday School on a Sunday to be told Earth is less than a million years old; Noah’s flood created our geology; Adam and Eve were first; our climate is constant; and ‘we are the chosen ones’… then on Monday for public education to say exactly the opposite- by expressing true science.

    Elitism and Powerful.
    On the other end of the spectrum are the rich elite people who find it beneath them to send their precious Zoe to a public school with ‘those other kids’.
    So they find it perfectly acceptable to have their nanny drive Zoe across town, spewing fumes from their SUV jamming up traffic, to their ELITE charter school- to learn the same stuff.

    This campaign is simply the School District fighting against those other messages.

    It is not worth spending so much money, but it is certainly an issue that needs to get in the public sphere.

    Boise Schools are top notch and rank highly in the country.
    The same can not be said for all Idaho Schools (parents!).

  17. This message goes back awhile:

    “Boise School District blasts ‘Don’t Fail Idaho’ ads (Albertson’s Foundation):

    The irony is, the Albertson Foundation has put so much money into our public education system.

  18. western guy
    Sep 24, 2018, 5:48 pm

    Easterner is right on! The Albertsons family has spent HUNDREDS of millions of $$ on education in idaho (not all of it very successfully), and has seen NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE in overall learning.

    Go figure…

  19. Las Vegas Rebel
    Sep 25, 2018, 4:22 pm

    I get why parents want to send their kids to a charter school. As a parent I did myself because I was tired of my kids being indoctrinated by the liberal public school teachers and their liberal agenda is being pushed upon my children. Public schools are teaching to the lowest common denominator student. The students who could be pushed further ahead in studies are not because the teacher is so focused on getting the students with lower grades up to the standard.

    Another reason public schools are losing students is sports. You have schools like Bishop Kelly who recruit students to play sports and then give them scholarships to pay for their tuition. They recruit the best athletes around the valley to go to their school but then keep their attendance artificially low to keep them in the 4A level for sports so they don’t have to compete at the higher 5A level.

  20. Public School is terribly broken because they take our money by force. Therefore no motivation to produce a quality product. We need to make them compete for funding like every other industry producing a quality product. A good start would be to mandate any and all school related elections to only the one big election day in November and force whatever their issue is to be included on the only ballot that day (end stealth elections).

    Lots of love from me to the lonely quality teachers who care so much, but look how the schools treat them. How dare they disrupt the cash cow.

  21. Yossarian_22
    Sep 26, 2018, 7:00 pm

    This is totally predictable. Instead of actually evaluating why parents are moving their kids to private options, the Commissars are assuming that they need better marketing. I agree with most reasons given in above posts as to why public schools suck beans. There is plenty of evidence that you can see, feel and hear for yourself that proves the failure of public schools. Further, they have doubled down with all the social control crap to drive Americans values into a nanny state atmosphere. It has been boiled frog the whole way. I applaud the Guardian for spotlighting this travesty. Keep it up.

    BTW, the last time I was canvased for the last school bond increase, I gave the promoter a full piece of my mind about school failures. The bond passed anyway, but people are voting with their feet. GoodO for them.

  22. Yossarian, you are coming from a position that schools suck.
    How about the more accurate position that too many parents suck?

    Is it REALLY the individual teacher’s responsibility, or are they simply one cog in the wheel to facilitate learning?

    Teachers have ZERO responsibility to get a student to do homework.
    They have ZERO responsibility over whether that student has decent sleep.
    They have ZERO responsibility over whether that student is focused on the subject or the boy/girl sitting next to them.
    And that list goes on and on- ALL which falls on the responsibility of parents.

    Too many parents are failing.

    Above comments want schools to ‘compete for students’- This is EXACTLY what they are planning to due, to the tune of $170,000. It is unfortunate they find it necessary.

    There is zero evidence ‘School Choice’ provides an equal improvement for ALL children. See Michigan and Devos as the failing model

    School Choice only dilutes the public resources and makes a difficult goal even more difficult.

    As for any kind of ‘liberal agenda’- yeah right, A, B, C, reading phonics, and the scientific method are so liberal. That rubbish rhetoric that does nothing to advance the goals of good education for children.

    The concept of PUBLIC schools is unique to creating democracy in America.
    “Education … beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men—the balance-wheel of the social machinery.” -Horace Mann

    To argue against great, EQUAL, public education is simply arguing in favor of Marxism with a proletariat and bourgeoisie class of people. THAT is the choice!

  23. Brainwashing
    Sep 27, 2018, 1:10 pm

    If schools were actually “educating” students, I wouldn’t feel so bad about my money going to the schools. Sadly, todays schooling is not about education.

    Schools are creating corporate robots who will never question their superiors, no matter how atrocious the crimes they experience. They are taught to be obedient to authority, and to memorize and regurgitate information. Schools in other countries have kids in 5th grade who can run circles around our high school graduates. The “history” taught in our schools is outright fiction.

    Personally, I found school to be BORING and more akin to a PRISON than a institution of learning, and todays schools are prisons, complete with surveillance systems, security fences and guards.

    What I find totally insulting is the endless and obvious fake “false flag” school mass shootings rolled out by the corporate media, while simultaneously putting up NO GUN signs everywhere to keep those who might defend against mass shootings out. Is there any politician out there who has ever explained why they think a criminal would walk up to a school with a gun and see the NO GUN sign and decide they must obey the sign and leave.

    How long before endless “common sense gun regulations” to “save the children” disarm everyone in America so the sociopaths can begin the next Holocause with their militarized police made up of the product of school brainwashing.

  24. Eastie, because of public schools intruding into the family with the commie agenda the parents no longer have authority over their children. If a parent dare discipline their child the school and CPS authorities will swoop in and empower the child to disobey the parent. Brought to you by commie liberals wanting to destroy the American family unit. They have been successful. Today’s parents are also a product of the same corrupted system of conditioning. They don’t bother to be, and don’t want to be, what you call “good parents” because they were taught not to be and threatened with criminal punishment if they do dare step up.

    “The government will take care of you.” If some of you think commie is the wrong label, think again.

  25. Such distaste for public education. I encourage all of you to go watch a class or interview a local teacher. You will find people that genuinely care about the kids and are passionate about their jobs. I doubt you will walk away feeling that teachers are “indoctrinating the kids with a commie agenda”.

    Boise Schools generally do a great job educating the students and giving a unique education to each of them. I have two sons at each end of the spectrum. One is taking AP classes as a sophomore while the other is learning life skills in hopes of living on his own someday. The advanced classes are impressive, but more so is my other son learning life and job skills that are not often taught at the higher levels.

    What this article does not talk about is how the urbanization of Boise is causing declining populations at some schools while others are busting at the seams.

  26. Yossarian_22
    Sep 28, 2018, 11:08 am


    For 20 years I was steeped in Leftist culture and have read all the usual promotions of how our public education is the epitome of “democracy.” Everything from Noam Chomsky (who hated his public school education BTW) to any current blather from Dem education promoters.

    In the abstract, I actually still believe in a public funded education, but now I can see that cultural agendas serve along with social promotion gimmicks to dumb down kids and deliver them to our society with predetermined concepts that America needs to be anti-sovereign and part of some World Society without borders and constitutions that protect national interests. It’s all very John Lennon Imagine crap. Except, that what they are selling isn’t world Love through equality, but that equality will be achieved by making everyone poor (except for that 1% of know-it-alls that make the rules = Lenin).

    I ask people, adults mind you, that don’t even know how money enters the economy. They all think the Govt prints it and injects it. That can happen via bonds sold to private entities, but MOST money enters every time a private loan is made at a bank. It’s printed out of thin air and loaned to borrowers. That’s called principal. Banks are allowed to loan $10 for every $1 they have on deposit. This is not taught to anyone. It’s the most important aspect of economies and no one knows it.

    My next door neighbor is a top score student in high school. She is not aware of most facts because they don’t teach them any. They teach for tests steeped in minutiae. World history is not even a serious subject anymore. With everything that is going on, where are the debates and facts? It’s all being handled by Tech Giants via social media. What a joke.

    Clancy- if I request to “watch a class” in history or American Govt, would that be approved? In France, all parents are barred from any intervention in their kids’ school activities. Are we next?

    Finland is the top dog in education. They actually teach critical skills there. They rarely test. But if you point them out to today’s progressives, you get a lecture about how “white and racist” Finland is. Which is funny because Finland used to be a go-to example for leftists for how America should follow.

  27. Yossa,
    Your description of ONE of the Fed’s monetary tools to inject money into the economy only highlights your own critical thinking shortfalls.
    Sorry Yo, you’re missing some info. Give that explanation to a Finance Prof and see what you get for a grade… oh wait, you will just blame the ‘leftist agenda’ for your grade… never mind.

    Trust me, I would not ask you to explain banking or the economy- to anyone- especially not your dear neighbor girl.

    If this were a test though, you would fail. Oh, more minutiae… never mind. Pretty complicated stuff to use as an example of our public education system.

    Finland? Ha!

    Off topic?????
    Not really. It is an example of how those critical of our public education system do not have solid across-the- board evidence that the ‘choice model’ is better.

    Anecdotes of Susie not aware of “facts”? I doubt that; but, whatever.

    So make a social experiment?
    Great, let the rich get richer via exclusive education and the poor will continue to hang out with Yossarian for them to talk about monetary policy.

    But, Yossa, I leave on your own words, “I still believe in a public funded education”.

  28. Public school marketing
    Sep 29, 2018, 6:14 pm

    It is hard to see how with continued expansion of charter schools that public schools will improve. Charter schools are public schools, but with screening. Correct?

    What has always been needed is a referendum on how many children a family can put into the free public/charter schools system without having to pay for some extra services. (Not football, etc., just overall overload of costs, including free lunch.)

    It is suspicious that it kills the budget by contracting at the end of the fiscal year. Public secondary and elementary schools don’t need to advertise. Parents want to send their kids to schools. Bad decision BSD.

Get the Guardian by email

Enter your email address: