Akron public schools fight back to regain citizens' faith

AKRON, OH: Plagued by recent negative publicity, the Akron Public

School system has begun a dollars 250,000 PR and ad campaign aimed at

regaining citizen's faith in the schools. The campaign runs prior to a

referendum asking whether citizens should have to pay dollars 400

million in taxes towards repairs to the dilapidated schools.

The system, which includes 60 schools, had been heavily criticized over

low student test scores and leadership issues. It recently hired a new


'Our local newspaper hasn't been very supportive of the Akron public

schools and we had to jump over that to reach citizens,' said Karen

Ingraham, executive director of communications. 'We were losing the

trust of our stakeholders.'

The new campaign features successful graduates of the Akron schools

talking about their educational experiences in television and radio


On the community relations front, meetings are planned for this summer

and fall to talk to Akron residents about what they want to see in their


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