Monday, March 1, 2010

Sarasota Schools Spend $3.2 Million To Make Video Supporting School Tax Extension

The Sarasota County School Board has admitted spending over three million taxpayer dollars to create a commercial that will air on local television stations urging voters to support the 1-mill public education tax extension. Administrators pooh-poohed critics who were of the opinion that this expenditure was an improper use of education funds.

According to an official statement released this morning by the School Board, it stated: "Pfffftt, like your the boss of us," referring to county taxpayers. "Like every other governmental agency in Sarasota County, the first thing we did was to hire an obscenely-expensive out-of-state educational consultant to tell us what to do. After months of extensive research, the consultant came back to us with a 156-page report that basically told us to do one of two things: either hold a bake sale or put on a show. A couple years ago, we tried a bake sale. All the mothers just went to Publix and bought cookies--didn't even bother to take them out of their original packaging and try to pass them off as homemade. So, no more bake sales."

"We then hired a high-profile Madison Avenue advertising agency. In a couple months, they submitted two commercials with big-name actors. We screened the two ads in our state-of-the-art mega-media theater with stadium seating and Dolby surround sound that we had built in the school board's office complex in the Landings. We all agreed that the Danica Patrick one where she takes off her top was too much like her "Go Daddy" campaign and the other one featuring Dennis Rodman would have had to have been bleeped down to nothing just to get it on the air. The agency offered to make another spot with Quentin Tarantino directing, but they wanted an extra $750,000 on top of the $600,000 we had already paid them."

"One of our educational professionals suggested that, this being Sarasota, we have all the talent we needed to mount a first-class show right here in town. We laughed at her naivete, but figured we had nothing left to lose except the last $1.7 million remaining in the ad budget, so we let her run with it. After a day-and-a-half of planning and 20 minutes or so of rehearsal, we had a commercial that we think will tug at the heartstrings of each and every voter out there and convince them to pass this tax extension."

School administrators were quick to point out the fiscal responsibility demonstrated in the making of the video, noting that the children in the piece weren't paid anything and the teachers involved were happy with "a couple grand apiece." In addition, school board members were thrilled to finally get a chance to use all that top-of-the-line video equipment that they had purchased several years ago from a board member's brother-in-law, but never had occasion to use, so "we saved money there by not having to go out and buy all new stuff."

Responding to critics who cited the involvement of students to make the video, one school board member angrily defended the practice. "Why don't these screwballs just shut their pie holes. We went to college for this stuff. You think we don't know what we're doing; we're professionals, for crying out loud. Every one of those kids who had anything at all to do with completing the video was given an automatic 'A' for all their classes this semester. Think they won't pressure their folks into a 'YES' vote next Tuesday?"

Taking their cue from some of the most successful television ads of all times, the Sarasota County School Board will air their commercial just one time only. While it won't be during the Super Bowl, officials are confident that showing the ad once on Channel 7 during Wheel of Fortune on the day prior to the election will give them the most bang for their buck, citing a recent $125,000 demographic report that they had commissioned, stating the same.

"What we want, you’ve got,
And that’s your vote tomorrow.
If we must, we’ll beg, steal or borrow,
‘Cause we’ve been taught no shame.

So, now make our dreams come true,
Well, well, vote twice to make our dreams come true.....

No students were harmed in the making of this video. Of course, none of them received much of an education while making the video, either, but, at least, nobody got hurt. And, isn't that what school's really all about anyway........

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