Traveling ads and an online auction are two ways Rock Hill schools aim to drum up money in tough times.
By January, the district plans to start selling advertisements on its fleet of service vehicles and hocking surplus equipment online.
Neither effort will cost money up front, Associate Superintendent Anthony Cox said. The companies handling each venture for the district will take a share of profits.
"Our goal is to save a teacher position," Superintendent Lynn Moody said of the vehicle ads. "Sixty-thousand is a teaching position."
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It's tough to say how much money could be made, Cox said, because selling ads on service vehicles is rare. No other South Carolina district appears to be doing it.
Several districts, including Rock Hill's, planned to sell ads on school activity buses this year, but were thwarted by a state law that bans marketing on vehicles that carry students. Service vehicles aren't covered by the law, Cox said.
From utility trucks to small and large vans, Rock Hill schools' fleet includes about 40 vehicles, Cox said. The ads would feature "positive" messages about education.
A financial planner's ad, for instance, might say: "Education is the best investment." A landscaping company's could read: "Education is the seed of growth."
"It kind of brands them as a supporter of education," said Cox, who sees the effort as potentially more profitable than using buses.
With vehicles darting throughout the district all day, "you get a lot of exposure," he said.
For the online auction, the district plans to hire GovDeals.com, which would launch a website where anyone could bid on items the district wants to sell - from vehicles to furniture to electronics.
When a school district in Kershaw County demolished an old gym, the district used the site to sell pieces of the floor and marble steps, said Rick Jones, a GovDeals service representative.
And because it's up to buyers to pay for pick-up and removal, the district saved money on top of profits.
Until now, Rock Hill schools held a public auction once every few years. They've been popular, but a good slice of profits went to hire an auctioneer and pay for the event.
The district will still hold those, Cox said, but adding a website means it'll keep more of the profits, free up storage space and keep a steady stream of money coming in.
"We constantly have things to sell like older chairs and desks," he said. "Some schools may still have mimeograph machines somewhere in a corner."