LANGHORNE, Pa – Forget magazine drives and candy sales. A cash-strapped high school near Philadelphia hopes to raise money by auctioning itself on eBay.
The starting bid of just under $600,000 for The Learning Center in Langhorne, Pa., is designed to offset steep budget cuts. A tongue-in-cheek listing describes the alternative school for at-risk teens as "pre-owned" and "slightly used."
The winner won't own the facility, which is part of the Neshaminy School District. But he or she will get a plethora of goodies, including a naming opportunity, a free large pizza, a personalized school coffee mug and the chance to deliver a speech at graduation.
Not to mention the satisfaction of "delivering an education to a group of kids who could really use it," according to the ad.
Neshaminy officials did not immediately return requests for comment Monday. The 7,000-student district has endured a pair of teacher strikes this year as the school board says it can't afford to meet the union's demands.
Learning Center Principal JoAnn Holland says she hopes the auction idea will draw the attention of a wealthy benefactor. Bidding ends Wednesday.
"I know it's crazy," Holland said in a statement. "But with the good The Learning Center does, it's crazier not to do it."
The idea came from recent graduate Casey Young, who knows a bit about unusual auctions: His dad, a writer, tried to sell their family on eBay in 2003. The ad was eventually yanked because the company prohibits selling human beings, but the stunt received a lot of publicity.
"We did it as a lark," father Steve Young told The Associated Press on Monday. "Casey seems to have turned this into something that will result in something positive."